The equinox approaches, and all DX bands will be in transition toward their summer conditions for the next few months. 20 has not yet opened for reliable nightpath work, but northern latitude paths are opening for greyline and daypath propagation. Polar paths are workable, though the windows are still narrow. In recent weeks, Europe has needed these polar openings to make certain rare Pacific contacts. Many Pacific countries rank high on European need lists, just as the Asian ones do in North America. Rare contacts across polar paths are much easier when expeditions make daily appearances on 20 while the polar windows are open. Over the next two months, conditions over the pole will improve dramatically on 20 Meters.
15 is another story. The flux is not high enough yet to open the really high latitude paths. The northeast and northwest paths are wide open, however, and have been the main source of activity in recent contests. Most of Europe is workable from here in Texas, but little is heard from Russia. In the western US, northern and eastern Europe are difficult because these paths are more polar. There are times at the peak of the sunspot cycle when polar paths are open for most of the day and night on 15. For now, we enjoy the novelty of a solar flux in the 90's and good running rates for Japan and Europe.
The spring season on 10 Meters is disappointing many. Openings to Europe and Japan have been brief and marginal. Even the east coast is reporting low numbers on this band in major contests. I do not have a scientific explanation why autumn conditions on 10 seem to surpass those in spring. (All my forecasts are more intuitive than scientific.) Anyhow, the solar flux will continue to rise and we will not see the benefits of this on 10 Meters until September. Openings to the east, west and south are good. From the US, we can access Africa, the Pacific and South America.
Since night paths are not yet open on 20, we continue to look to the low bands in the evening. 40 is in great shape because with fluxes in the 90's the high latitude night paths are open. Good signals from Europe begin in late afternoon and continue past midnight, and we can follow the sunrise peak from Russia across to Ireland. The Asian coverage at our own sunrise peak is awesome. These openings should be exploited as we await the return of nightpath openings on 20.
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