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ARRL News: The K7RA Solar Update

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The Sun was quieter this reporting week compared to the previous seven days. There were four zero-sunspot days, Thursday December 29, Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday, plus a fifth on the following Thursday, January 5. Geomagnetic numbers were also lower. 

Average daily sunspot number decreased from 7.6 to 4.7, average daily solar flux declined a half point from 73.6 to 73.1, while average daily planetary A index went from 17.3 to 9.3. Average mid-latitude A index went from 11.6 to 6.3.

The latest forecast sees solar flux at 72 on January 6, 71 on January 7-13, 76 on January 14, 77 on January 15-19, 75 on January 20-24, 74 on January 25-27, 73 on January 28 through February 2, 75 on February 3-7, 76 on February 8-10, and 77 on February 11-15.

The Ap prediction for planetary A index sees 18, 14, 10, 6 and 5 on January 6-10, then 12 on January 11-12, 8 and 10, on January 13-14, then 5 on January 15-16, then 25, 20, 25, and 18 on January 17-20, then 20 on January 21-22, 10 on January 23, and 5 on January 24-26, then 12, 15, 10, 12 and 18 on January 27-31, then 24, 22, 15 and 8 on February 1-4 and 5 on February 5-9.

F.K. Janda, OK1HH, delivered his geomagnetic predictions a day early this week:

Geomagnetic activity forecast for the period January 6-February 1, 2017

Geomagnetic field will be:

Quiet on January 8-10, 16, 24-25,

Mostly quiet on January 11-12, 15, 26, 30,

Quiet to unsettled on January 23, 27, 29

Quiet to active on January 6-7, 13-14, 17-18, 28, 31

Active to disturbed on January 19-20, (21-22,) February 1

Increases in solar wind from coronal holes are expected on January 6-8, 17-20, 25, (27-31,) and February 1.

Parenthesis means lower probability of activity enhancement.

Jon Jones, N0JK wrote: “Nice activity on 6-meter meteor scatter in the Quadrantids Meteor Shower Jan. 3, 2017.

“I set up portable on 50 MHz at about 8 this morning just west of Lawrence, Kansas. Very cold and strong winds. The wind chill was -10 degrees F here in Lawrence.

“I made two contacts in 5 minutes: W4HLR and WZ8D on 50.145 MHz SSB. I CQed a while longer, got cold and packed up.

“I listened from home on 50.145 and heard a loud ‘blue whizzer’ meteor scatter on WZ8D at 1447 UTC. I worked John again easily with the attic dipole. Near as I can tell, the peak of the shower was between 1400 and 1530 UTC.

“N8JX in EN64 heard me earlier, but weakly. I am blocked by a hill to the northeast to N8JX from home, so I went back out portable at 1510 UTC. I worked Terry in 2 minutes on 50.145 MHz at 1513. I was running 100 W and 2 element Yagi. He pegged the meter! 

“Lots of meteor scatter activity on 6 meters with the new MSK144 mode. It is very efficient, but it is still nice to see the old-school SSB meteor scatter activity.”

Jon mentioned MSK144, a new WSPR mode for meteor scatter. Details here:https://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/Release_Notice.txt

For more information concerning radio propagation, see the ARRL Technical Information Service at http://arrl.org/propagation-of-rf-signals. For an explanation of numbers used in this bulletin, see http://arrl.org/the-sun-the-earth-the-ionosphere.

An archive of past propagation bulletins is at http://arrl.org/w1aw-bulletins-archive-propagation. More good information and tutorials on propagation are at http://k9la.us/.

Monthly propagation charts between four USA regions and twelve overseas locations are at http://arrl.org/propagation. Instructions for starting or ending email distribution of ARRL bulletins are at http://arrl.org/bulletins.

Sunspot numbers for December 29, 2016 through January 4, 2017 were 0, 11, 11, 0, 0, 11, and 0, with a mean of 4.7. 10.7 cm flux was 73.4, 73.6, 73.5, 72.5, 73, 73.4, and 72.4, with a mean of 73.1. Estimated planetary A indices were 5, 4, 12, 14, 7, 12, and 11, with a mean of 9.3. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 2, 2, 10, 9, 5, 8, and 8, with a mean of 6.3.

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