October 1994 Forecast -- Flux Range 74 - 98

by Roy, AD5Q - Houston, Texas

Conditions have changed substantially from a month ago. 15 has opened up, and on good days there is plenty of activity. We still have that coronal hole on the sun disrupting the bands on a monthly basis. This will certainly effect some major contests in the coming fall season.

We are now past the equinox and into the peak of the high band season. October conditions will be better than in November, because polar regions get more exposure to the sun. Due to the lower fluxes this year, we cannot expect daily propagation to all of the European continent on 15. The 17 Meter band opens earlier, and often has more activity than 15. East-to-west paths are fine, so 15 remains a good band to watch for African contacts. On days when conditions are disturbed, very little will be coming through from Europe (only the western portions). With so little activity to tune through, the African DX is easy to find. This is little consolation to the DX contester, who does not have the option of moving to 17 Meters, and needs the 100+ rates of a European opening to get the adrenalin flowing. Mister Coronal Hole may clobber the CQWW this year (both SSB & CW).

Conditions on 20 are starting to suffer from plummeting nighttime MUFs. Early band closings in the evening are moving DX activity to lower frequencies. 40 Meters is very active, and plenty of good DX is workable in the evening. Since we are still near the equinox, conditions are also good in the southern hemisphere. With the low solar flux, this means we have worldwide propagation on low bands. African contacts can usually be made with wire antennas (and a kilowatt). Effective penetration into Europe requires something higher and bigger, since most European stations cannot be heard with wires.

20 Meter operators should watch for marginal daytime openings to Europe, and work the grey line paths to remote parts of the world. After dark, the band remains open into the southern hemisphere, and to Africa and the Pacific. Most activity will be on other bands, since they will have better propagation. The best daytime bands are higher in frequency, while the best nighttime bands are lower. 30 Meters should be in good shape for a couple of months, and then it too will close in the early evening.

Return to Article Index Page