November 1994 Forecast -- Flux Range 76 - 92

by Roy, AD5Q - Houston, Texas

Though I usually don't dwell heavily on the short term rise and fall of solar statistics, this is contest season and that Coronal Hole can't be ignored. Disturbed geo conditions take much of the fun out of DX contesting. Instead of running Europe and JA at high rates, most are forced to tune up and down the bands looking for multipliers in the Caribbean, South America and Africa. The onset of these disturbed conditions is sudden and predictable. It came during the May WPX CW before the contest was half over. It returned in late October in time for the CQWW Fone, and is due back around November 25th in time for the CQWW CW. When this solar phenomenon retreats to the other side of the sun, things clear up. Conditions should be OK for the SS Fone and the Ten Meter backscatter contest.

Aside from the contests, there are rumors of an expedition from VU4 (Andaman/Nicobar) sometime soon. (It is the only country left on my need list.) This is a long haul polar path for most of the US, and polar paths are the most effected by solar disturbances. Fortunately, this country is near the equator where the bands stay open later. The best paths should be on 20 & 15 around sunset (short path), and on 40 around sunrise. Any 15 meter openings will strongly favor the west coast. At sunset, long path on 40 is possible (beam required). Late afternoon 20 long path would be nice, but most 20 LP nowadays is east/west (Africa/VK). The antarctic pipelines to southern Asia (so favorable to the southern US) are usually closed.

15 continues to open nicely to Europe on good days. These DX windows will narrow as winter approaches, effecting propagation to Russia and eastern Europe. 20 also opens to Europe in the mornings. Though these openings are usually marginal, the polar paths are better than on 15. The optimum path is often on 17. Asia and JA come through in late afternoon, with a brief peak around sunset. All the high bands close in the early evening, though light activity lingers on 20 from the southern hemisphere.

The evening hours always bring out the most activity from any part of the world since most are off work. This is "Prime Time." DXers QSY to the low bands while mainstream America settles in for its daily overdose of hyped up mediocrity (TV). The best propagation is on 40, but 40 SSB has so much broadcast QRM that many SSB ops choose either 75 Meters or 40 CW. 40 is the band where you are most likely to hear lids sending only the last 2 letters of their call in CW pileups, an infantile practice invented by the MC's of SSB list operations. It's going to be a great low band season, with lots of rare DX and unruly pileups. Enjoy!

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