December 1988 Forecast -- Flux Range 147 - 255

by Roy, AD5Q - Houston, Texas

The fall seasonal peak is behind us now and propagation patterns are shifting to a winter configuration. We still have great conditions on 10 Meters, but less of the world is easily workable. Very few signals are coming across the pole on either 10 or 15 because of the constant darkness there. Windows to the more remote areas of Asia are narrowing on 20, where the nighttime propagation we have been enjoying for many months is deteriorating rapidly.

HIGH BANDS: All the high bands will close early, but 20 will often remain open in the evening to points of lower latitude (e.g. Africa, South America, the Pacific and Antarctica). 10 & 15 will be excellent across daytime paths, but 20 will also be open to many parts of the world during the day. The early evening band closings will crowd many DX'ers to the low bands, with CW operators favoring 40 and phone ops moving to 75.

LOW BANDS: The expanding darkness in the northern hemisphere is lowering nighttime MUF's, and the optimum operating frequency across many paths will drop below 14 Mhz. 40 will, of course, be wide open and crowded. The new 10 Mhz band could be an interesting alternative. Europeans are coming through on 80, but most signals on CW so far this season are the same regulars that were on last winter and their signals are weaker. A sunrise chart is a handy aid on low bands. Signals peak from areas where the sun has recently risen.

LONG PATH: Short path windows to remote points in Asia and the Middle East are becoming difficult, but we have pipeline conditions to these same regions via the Antarctic. We also have much better LP propagation than those obnoxious lids to our northeast. Enjoy 20 long path today, and do not hesitate to jump into the big morning pileups.

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