27 Jun 2016

Slowly declining solar activity

We have had several days recently with a total absence of sunspots. There is now little doubt that we are now on the slow, downward slide to the next solar minimum. The slide on the downwards few years is usually slower than the rise to the next peak after the minimum. The next peak is expected to be very poor.

Next autumn could be very interesting, although conditions on 10m are very unlikely to be as good as the last few years.

In my lifetime it is very unlikely I shall ever see 10m F2 conditions really good again. This is quite a sobering thought. Es (multi-hop) may be the only real hope of E-W DX on 10m in some summer months. Such DX may also happen on 6m too. The only time I worked the USA on 6m (this was 2.5W CW QRP) was by Es in a quiet part of the solar cycle when F2 propagation was poor on the higher HF bands.

As always, this is the law of averages. There may be good days when 10m is "open" but such openings may be missed as people follow the activity ever lower in frequency.  In the minimum even 20m may be dead. This is a few years away.

See http://www.solen.info/solar/.

No comments: