Well, we are living in interesting times as far as HF propagation goes.
July is usually in the middle of the HF summer doldrums - not really good conditions to speak off, but with some Sporadic E (Es). But this month is being characterised by a mass of solar flares, coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and high solar flux index (SFI) levels.
So while high SFI numbers usually indicate good conditions on the upper bands, the flare actvity is causing havoc with the bands shut down and lots of noise. Couple this with summer thunderstorms (Medium Wave was just a wall of crashes and bangs on Thursday 28th June) and it is hard to know what to work.
But in amongst all this there are good openings to be had. On 4th July I worked K2K in New Hampshire on 15m CW. This was a station being run for the US Independence Day and the prop charts would suggest that no path would have been open on that band and at that time ((1415hrs GMT).
Others are chasing 1A0C - The Order of Malta’s Italian Relief Corps (CISOM)- which is in Rome, not Malta by the way. Its signals have ranged from barely audible to S9+ depending on the solar flares and CMEs.
The best advice is keep on eye on the solar data at www.solarcycle24.com, and don't write the bands off too soon. And if you don't know what SFI, A and K indices are, take a look at the free HF Propagation book listed on the right.
73 and gud DX! Steve G0KYA
Go to the July propagation charts from the UK
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