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[Propagation] NW7US Propagation Update: CQ WW SSB: 30-X-2004

To: CQ_Contesting <CQ-Contest@contesting.com>,propagation <propagation@contesting.com>
Subject: [Propagation] NW7US Propagation Update: CQ WW SSB: 30-X-2004
From: "NW7US, Tomas" <nw7us@hfradio.org>
Date: Sat, 30 Oct 2004 06:52:16 -0700
List-post: <mailto:propagation@contesting.com>
Say 'hello' to Murphy.

Who would have thought that the Sun would wake up in a cranky mood, just as the contest gets under way? Based on the 27-day rotation cycle, we did not expect the see a rise in flaring and geomagnetic activity on the scale that we are now seeing.

Just as the contest period started, active sunspot region 691 developed new polarities which spawned three successive M-class flares (30-X-2004: 0323 UTC - M3.6, 0606 UTC - M4.5, 0909 UTC - M3.9) Then, at 1136 UTC, an X1.3 flare errupted, peaking at 1146 UTC. A small enhancement of the proton flux is also observed in GOES data. There are three regions that now have the type of magnetic structure that could spawn additional C-, M-, and X-class flares in the next 24 hours. This flare up was totally unexpected by forecasters around the globe.

The geomagnetic activity, as measured by the planetary K index (Kp) has remained active, mostly at level 4. This is due to the influence of the low-latitude coronal hole, and the strengthening of the solar wind speed and the increasing in strength of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF), which has fluctuated southward. The same conditions will extend at least until tomorrow.

This is putting some brakes on low frequency performance, and clipping the wings of the higher band signals. I am seeing contest spots from the DX clusters on 10 meters, and quite a bit more on 15 meters, as I write this bulletin (1350 UTC, 30-X-2004). In the last two hours, 15 meters has been the most active on average, as reported by http://dx.dxers.info/activity.php - a great resource. The low bands are not showing as high activity as might be expected - though that could be due to the lack of reporting by contest stations.


73 de Tomas, NW7US (AAR0JA/AAA0WA)

: Propagation Editor for CQ, CQ VHF, and Popular Communications :
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