MUFs are significantly lower this season. With solar fluxes in the 200 range much of the time, the bands (all of them) are acting as though fluxes were lower than they are. I don't have an explanation, only an adjusted forecast.
LOW BANDS: Conditions on 80 are better than the last two seasons, with activity every night - especially on fone. In the early evening, pileups on European stations are dominated by east coast packeteers (lids). This is not the EU propagation peak anyway, since sunrise doesn't sweep across the continent until after 0600Z. On both 40 and 80, the DX can then be worked with much less competition because so many are asleep. The best nighttime band will be 40 CW. Exotic African stations tend to show during the evening, and the east coast doesn't seem to have such an advantage in this direction.
20 Meters: MUFs are not high enough to keep 20 open at night. The evening path to the sunrise areas to the northeast is closed, and this is the path with the most DX activity. The southern hemisphere is not effected by this problem, so the band will usually remain open to points south and east after it closes to Europe. Trans-antarctic long path openings will occur at their regular times. During much of the day there are marginal openings to Europe - but we all know there are better daytime bands.
DAYTIME BANDS: The lower MUFs have effected 10 Meters, which shuts down shortly after dark (also in Europe). Last year the Europeans kept coming through into the afternoon. These openings are now shorter, especially into Russia where the band closes shortly after our sunrise. A greater portion of Asia will be inaccessible this winter on 10. There will be plenty of activity anyway, since 10 is a very popular band. 15 will actually be in better condition, with longer openings to more of the world.