December 1992 Forecast -- Flux Range 116 - 173

by Roy, AD5Q - Houston, Texas

With the northern hemisphere getting less sunlight with each passing day, nighttime MUF's are declining. This closes 20 Meters at night (currently after midnight), and these band closings will be occurring early in the evening by January. This means that northern latitude nighttime paths will usually be closed. If you are on 20 Meters after sunset, expect a grey line opening northwest to Asia instead of a path to Europe. Prior to sunset, try long path to Asia - tuning carefully for exotic contacts in southern Asia. There is new activity from Bangladesh. After long path closes in the morning, look for 20 to open short path to Europe. Throughout the day, 20 will be at least marginally open for DX.

10 Meters closes shortly after sunset for DX, but sporadic E openings can occur at any time. These keep things hopping on the 10 meter phone band, because it is an excellent band for stateside ragchewing. There are other things going on, such as 10-10 games and 28325. On the CW end, the QRM is from spanish speaking CB'ers. DX paths to Europe in the morning are usually pretty good. They are also shorter than when fluxes were higher, with fewer Russians. It is a good idea to make the best of these 10 meter conditions, because it will be several years before they will again be as good. The 10 meter DX season will continue until about March, and we have been in the peak of this season for over a month now. 15 Meters is reliable for daypath work, but there are fewer signals coming across polar paths this year. This band closes within a few hours after sunset now.

Conditions on 40 Meters are spectacular. Unfortunately, the SSB portion of the band is almost totally dominated by foreign short wave broadcasts and other non-HAM QRM. Many SSB operators prefer to do their winter DXing on 75 Meters. Nearly all the DX on this band is in the Extra Class CW segment, though DX is easily workable up to about 7035. Europeans are most easily workable at their sunrise. Following our sunrise, expect the band to be broadly open to the west. This opening will include the Pacific, Asia, Indonesia and VK/ZL. There is also a brief (but strong) grey line window to northern Europe via short path, including Scandinavia and parts of Russia. Long path opens in the morning on 40 to Europe, but you will need a big beam to hear and work it. Lower fluxes improve conditions on the low bands. There is more activity on 80 this year, and signals are louder.

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