The auroral activity and geomagnetic storm activity continues this week as the sun has developed a coronal hole. This giant hole is allowing solar winds to be sent hurtling our way, with a large enough stream scientists are predicting we may be in for a week of heightened geomagnetic activity. An image from our solar observation posts shows the hole, with the superimposed white arrows showing normal solar wind activity and the breaks, or hole, which will allow the winds to come our way. Normally the sun’s activities cause the solar winds to bend back down on themselves as the image shows, but the large hole means much wind will come our way.
This has been quite a year for solar activity, even as the current sunspot cycle rapidly declines. As discussed in an earlier post, this can make HF propagation rather tricky, but can enhance VHF and above propagation. One of the things to watch for is that as a wave of heightened activity passes through, sometimes the heightened ionization allows for a few hours of excellent HF propagation once the winds settle down. This is sort of a catch-as-catch-can situation, but something to be on the lookout for through monitoring DX-clusters or propagation beacons.
Added 10.16.15 – NASA image of a large flare:
Unfortunately as often happens, good opportunities are missed because people either hear about poor propagation conditions and never get on the air, or else everyone is waiting for everyone else to make the first call, so to speak. Be the change! Make that first call, even if your signal is lost to the solar winds initially. Keep at it and you will be rewarded with adding some good contacts in your logs! 73, Robert