Predominantly quiet levels are expected to prevail from 21-27 March. On 28 - 31 March, quiet to
active conditions are expected. Quiet conditions are also expected from 01 - 02 April.
From 03 - 04 April, quiet to unsettled conditions are expected, and then quiet levels should prevail from 05 - 12 April, then from 13-14 April, quiet to unsettled conditions should return. A
more detailed forecast can be found at: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/weekly/WKHF.txt
The recent solar storms have been in the news during March, and activity will increase during 2012, as we approach the peak of Solar cycle 24. A recent flurry of eruptions on the sun did more than spark pretty auroras around the poles. NASA-funded researchers say the solar storms
of March 8th through 10th dumped enough energy in Earth’s upper atmosphere to power every residence in New York City for two years. “This was the biggest dose of heat we’ve received from a solar storm since 2005,” says Martin Mlynczak of NASA Langley Research Centre.
“It was a big event, and shows how solar activity can directly affect our planet.”
(NASA Science News 22 March 2012)
In terms of propagation, this will usually cause a blackout of HF signals by bringing the ionospheric layers closer to the earth and severely reducing the hop that we normally rely on to receive HF signals at a distance. However, in theory, it could enable you to receive HF signals closer to home which would not normally be receivable. Many of these solar storms are on the far side of the sun but these recent storms were directed towards earth. Depending upon which side of the earth is being affected, propagation could vary considerably, so these are interesting times, as far as propagation is concerned.
April Meteor Showers
Lyrid Meteor Showers are forecast from 19-24 April, peaking on the 21st. Details at: http://www.radio-electronics.com/info/propagation/meteor-scatter-burst-communications/meteors-showers-types.php
Links to all articles at www.jameswelsh.org.uk).
Thanks to Ken Fletcher and Mike Terry for regular updates.