Friday, 17 July 2015

Summer Es


There is no doubt about it.

This summer's Sporadic-E season has been the worst in memory, for myself and for most North American six-meter fans. My last log entry, and the last time that I heard a signal on 6m, was on July 7th. During a 'normal' season, rarely a day goes by without an opening in some direction. Often, the band will be open for several days in a row. It was only a few summers ago that the PNW region had propagation to Europe (extremely rare) for three days in succession!

There has been much speculation as to why this season is particularly poor. Is it the early higher-than-normal temperatures being experienced this summer? Is it the constant bombardment from the sun, with several solar flares during the prime weeks as well as an almost continuous coronal hole streaming? Is it all just a normal part of the cyclical behavior of most natural phenomena? Whatever the reason, time is running out for this year.

After operating on 6m for over 40 years, the peak conditions always seem to happen during or close to the first week of July ... but, living up to its 'sporadic' classification, I have seen some spectacular openings right up until early August. In fact, my longest 2m Es contact (Oklahoma) was made on July 24, so there is still some time left for the band to exonerate itself.

With the sun flatlining once again, and no sign of flaring or no coronal hole streaming, perhaps the next few days will turn things around. If not, the summer of 2015 will be notable for not being notable.

One great opening over the pole will make the poor conditions just a distant memory!

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