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The K7RA Solar Update (04/14/2023)



Solar activity was up for this reporting week, April 6-12.


Seven new sunspot groups appeared, one on April 6, another on April 9, two more on April 10, another on April 11, and two more on April 12. Then on Thursday, April 13, three new sunspot groups emerged. The sunspot number rose to 154, the highest value in the past month.


Average daily sunspot number rose from 53.4 to 70.6, and average daily solar flux increased from 132.5 to 141.


On Thursday, the noon solar flux reading was 159.5 and was well above the average for the previous seven days, perhaps indicating an upward trend.


Geomagnetic conditions were calm, with average daily planetary A index dropping from 15 to 7.6, and the middle latitude average from 11.7 to 6.4.


Predicted solar flux was 155 and 160 on April 13-14, and 165 on April 15-16.


The Thursday prediction was well above that.


Predicted solar flux is 168 on April 14-16, 165 and 160 on April 17-18, 155 on April 19-22, 158 on April 23, 155 on April 24-25, then 152, 148, 145 and 142 on April 26-29, 140 on April 30 and May 1, 142 and 140 on May 2-3, 135 on May 4-5, then 130, 140, 145, 150, 152, 155 and 158 on May 6-12, then 160 on May 13-15, and 150 and 152 on May 16-17, 155 on May 18-19, then 158, 155 and 155 on May 20-22.


Predicted planetary A index is 8, 12, 10 and 8 on April 14-17, 5 on April 18-20, then 8 and 10 on April 21-22, 5 on April 23-25, then 15 and 18 on April 26-27, 15 on April 28-30, then 12 and 10 on May 1-2, 8 on May 3-4, 5 on May 5-6, then 8, 10 and 8 on May 7-9, and 5 on May 10-13, then 10, 15 and 5 on May 14-16, 20, 15 and 10 on May 17-19, and 5 on May 20-23.


Spaceweather.com released this news on Wednesday:


"Evidence is mounting that Solar Cycle 25 might peak much earlier than expected. New research by a leading group of solar physicists predicts maximum sunspot activity in late 2023 or early 2024 with a peak that could be twice as strong as the previous solar cycle."


Look in the Spaceweather archive for April 12-13 to read more. It is all explained in this scientific paper:



I noticed some very odd 10 meter propagation at 2000 UTC on April 11. Running FT8 and a one wavelength end fed wire at my home in Seattle, the only stations that heard me according to pskreporter.info were one in New Zealand, another in Hawaii, and in North America, only 5 stations (NK5B, AD4ES, K4RMM, KB4FB and AA4CB) in Florida, all within a 200 mile strip from 2,512 to 2,712 miles from me. Checking again at 2015 UTC, it was still the same. It looked quite dramatic on the pskreporter.info map.


Weekly Commentary on the Sun, the Magnetosphere, and the Earth's Ionosphere - April 13, 2023, from F.K. Janda, OK1HH.


"Relatively frequent C-class solar flares, sporadic M-class flares in one or two sunspot groups, and the appearance of two or three relatively small coronal holes - that's how the Sun looked between April 6 and 13.


"The solar wind speed dropped to 340 km/s by April 9, rose significantly to 550 km/s on April 10, and then slowly dropped again. The Earth's magnetic field was unsettled on April 10, then mostly calm on the other days.


"MUF values were slightly higher on 10 April. This was followed by 11 April with irregular daily MUF and irregular occurrences of attenuation. Since 12 April onward there was a transition to a regular daily course of ionospheric parameters.


"Now we can expect higher solar activity in the southern hemisphere. The rise should continue in the coming days at first. A slight decrease will follow after the weekend.


"A slight increase in geomagnetic activity with consequent fluctuations in shortwave propagation conditions can be expected rather since the middle of next week."


Here is a video about the Termination Event:



A story on NASA using AI to predict geomagnetic storms:



Here is a story about Radio Blackout:



Mike Mason, WB4MM in Daytona Beach, Florida wrote:


"On April 9 2023 FT8 mode 12 meters beginning at 2254 UTC and ending at 2328 UTC I worked 12 JA stations plus 2 South Korean stations in a row. I was calling CQ AS WB4MM EL99.


"My station has 100 watts to an attic 15M dipole. I believe the SFI at the time was 135. Not sure of the type of prop. This occurred within an hour of sunset at my QTH."


Send your tips, reports, observations, questions, and comments to k7ra@arrl.net. When reporting observations, don't forget to tell us which mode you were operating.


For more information concerning shortwave radio propagation, see http://www.arrl.org/propagation and the ARRL Technical Information Service at http://arrl.org/propagation-of-rf-signals . For an explanation of numbers used in this bulletin, see http://arrl.org/the-sun-the-earth-the-ionosphere .


An archive of past propagation bulletins is at http://arrl.org/w1aw-bulletins-archive-propagation . More good information and tutorials on propagation are at http://k9la.us/ .


Instructions for starting or ending email distribution of ARRL bulletins are at http://arrl.org/bulletins .


Sunspot numbers for April 6 through 12, 2023 were 33, 38, 49, 52, 92, 103, and 127, with a mean of 70.6. 10.7 cm flux was 137.1, 136.3, 135.9, 140.3, 139.8, 143.4, and 154, with a mean of 141. Estimated planetary A indices were 9, 8, 6, 6, 14, 6, and 4, with a mean of 7.6. Middle latitude A index was 7, 7, 5, 5, 11, 6, and 4, with a mean of 6.4.


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