By 2011, Solar Cycle 24 finally had taken off and it was apparent that it affected Es conditions. By the 2012 season, activity had declined sharply. As solar activity remained active and peaked twice, in continued hold down good Es propagation for several years.
This Solar Cycle (24) has been what I call anemic. It was one of the least active cycles since the early 1900’s and the lowest in radio’s history. It was foretold by Jim Kennedy, K6MIO/KH6 in 2011 at the Central States VHF Society Conference. The magnetic north and south poles of the Sun swap as part of a normal solar cycle. For Cycle 24, these poles were out of sync and to expect a low and poor peak of the Cycle. Jim was right on the money. There was no 2-Meter Aurora in the southern half of the U.S., and I know of no FAI reported on 2-Meters either. 6-Meter F2 was almost non-existent. There was some 6-Meter Trans-Equatorial propagation, but nothing close to what was experienced during Solar Cycle 23.
2. All captures considered non-Es (F2, TEP, Ground Wave, or Scatter) were removed from this analysis.
3. Any captures that were not verifiable by a legitimate Callsign or grid-square were also removed.
4. All 10-Meter captures used occurred from UTC dates April 25 through August 15-18, approximately 8 weeks, plus a few days each side of the Summer Solstice (June 20-22).
Regardless of year or solar affects, Es activity soars once the Sun rises and peaks just after mid-morning. Most years, this is the best time for Es. Activity declines as Noon passes, but peaks again a couple of hours before sunset. Once the Sun sets, Es rapidly decline.
Despite a slow start, each day of the entire season was greater than the prior.
The table shows that many of us out here on the west coast were lonely. Rich, WD4RBX has always been one of the best performers. It is not that the West Coast states have bad propagation; there was not much population of PropNET participants west of the Mississippi River. We really need to improve this next year. I consistently had good 6-Meter propagation to the Central and Southern Plains, as well as the northern Rockies and Northwest. We just had very little and late participation out here on PropNET.
Es are back. I hope you got a chance to play. Thank you East Coast and you out here in the west need to put out a signal next year.
This was very common through the season. I thought this was a bit late in the season for a very active day.
My philosophy and experience is Es beget Es. They show up on 10-Meters for a number of minutes, they appear on 6-Meters. Once strong and intensive on 6, there are good chances on 2-Meters.
I expect a few good years are ahead of us. Don’t miss it!
I enjoy doing this, but only if more of you participate. Lurking is participating too.
Thanks again for reading and I hope it added to your understanding that this band (10-Meters) isn’t dead when the solar cycle drops.