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[Propagation] NW7US Propagation Prediction : CQ WW SSB Contest, 30,31 Oc

To: CQ_Contesting <CQ-Contest@contesting.com>,"Richard Moseson" <w2vu@cq-amateur-radio.com>, w2vu@comcast.net
Subject: [Propagation] NW7US Propagation Prediction : CQ WW SSB Contest, 30,31 October 2004
From: "NW7US, Tomas" <nw7us@hfradio.org>
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2004 12:18:31 -0700
List-post: <mailto:propagation@contesting.com>
During the last weekend of this month (the CQ WW SSB contest weekend, 30 and 31 October 2004), we should experience good conditions. While we won't see very high sunspot counts, we do have enough activity to liven up the HF bands.

The 10.7-cm flux will be averaging between 100 and 130. This will mean that 20 meters will be the string, primary contest band, with 15 meters a significant player during the daylight hours. On the 10 meter band, there will be a sprinkling of openings, but this band will not give you that much of an extra edge. The edge will come from moving from 20 on down. The lower bands (40 through 160) will be more stable, with the seasonal decrease in noise, as well as the stablizing due to more quiet geomagnetic conditions.

Speaking of geomagnetic conditions, here's what's to be expected during the contest weekend. The planetary A index (Ap) is forecast to be between 5 and 10 - not too shabby. The peak planetary K index (Kp) is expected to stay around 3 or less. So, this is not a perfect quiet condition. Never-the-less, there shouldn't be significant degradation of the level of ionization.

Between now (25 October 2004) and the weekend, we will see an elevation of the geomagnetic activity, perhaps to storm levels. However, I do expect that to subside in time for the contest. Since the influence if the current coronal hole, and the arrival of the CME from a recent flare, will pass by October 28, we should see things stable enough for a long enough period prior to the start date. However, if the disturbance continued into 28 October, or even the next day, then the ionosphere may not have enough time to stablize well enough for a good start to the contest.

My Last Minute Forecast ( http://hfradio.org/lastminute_propagation.html ) shows a High-Normal for 30 October, and Above-Normal for 31 October. Barring any major flaring and coronal mass ejections, this should be an exciting and productive contest weekend.

I'll create one more update just prior to the CQ WW SSB weekend. And, I'll be posting my predictions for the CQ WW CW weekend, too. Good luck, DXer's!

73 de Tomas, NW7US (AAR0JA/AAA0WA)

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