The first fall season of a sunspot cycle peak generates an enormous upsurge in activity on the HF bands, most notably on Ten Meters. This seasonal peak will pass soon, but the activity will remain for the next few years - until the sunspots melt away. There will be plenty of DX to work, and the activity will spread to other bands. With the fluxes up so high, the coming winter season should not be too bad. Darkness is spreading over the pole, and ten is already starting to close earlier. By January even 20 Meters will close up at night in the northern hemisphere. Parts of Russia will be difficult to work on Ten Meters, and the window over the pole will narrow on 15 and 20. The morning grey line will tilt toward Europe. We therefore will not lose this important path, however, it won't stay open as long. Other high band paths will continue to perform very well, such as the east/west paths to Africa and VK/ZL/Pacific.
LOW BANDS: Nighttime activity across northern hemisphere paths will gradually shift to lower frequencies. 40 Meters should be very good this fall and winter, but 80 will likely be difficult due to the higher fluxes. Watch for a strong 40 meter morning peak into Scandinavia and Russia (grey line).
LONG PATH: As we loose nighttime propagation during the winter on the high bands, 20 stays open all night everywhere south of the equator. Southern propagation on 15 Meters is at its best right now, and will not be as good through January and February. If you remember how great 15 was for us last spring, you can see the unexploited potential of 15 meter long path. There is a regular dawn patrol on the 20 meter morning path, and many watching for signals in the afternoon from Asia. Exotic DX locations are regularly active and easily workable from the southern USA, regardless of the size of the pileup.