Check out the ACE-HF propagation software - the latest is version 2.05. ACE-HF is propagation forecasting and modeling for Amateur Radio as well as for Shortwave radio Listening and general HF operation. This software is even used by the military and other clients around the world. This software is developed and maintained by the same engineers that keep VOACAP up-to-date. As a result, this software is the most accurate user interface integrated with VOACAP. CHECK IT OUT, TODAY. This software is the most accurate modeling software available, and is endorsed by NW7US. Read the details to find out why.
This website is kept alive by Tomas (NW7US), out of "spare change" (which there's not always enough of), and, by the kind, helpful people who visit this website. Would you like to help me keep this site running 24/7? If you are able to help me keep this website up and running, please: help me keep this site running for everyone... click on this donation button:
There are other ways that you can help me keep this site up and running. Here are a few other ways:
Map, Above: Conditions in the D region of the ionosphere have a dramatic effect on high frequency (HF) communications and low frequency (LF) navigation systems. The global D Region Absorption Predictions (D-RAP) depicts the D region at high latitudes where it is driven by particles as well as low latitudes, where photons cause the prompt changes.
Note: At times, images may appear broken or missing, when SDO is working on the AIA/HMI instruments.
Planetary A-index (Ap): 13
| Planetary K-index (Kp): 3
Solar Wind: 549 km/s at 6.0 protons/cm3, Bz is -1.0 nT
(Apr 21, 2021 at 0739 UT)
X-ray Solar Flares:
6h hi [C1.9][1151Z 04/20] 24h hi [C1.9][1151Z 04/20]
What is the difference between the CB and Amateur Radio Services, in the USA? Here are some thoughts on the portrayal of the Amateur Radio Service by the Hit TV Series, NCIS, and a clarification of the difference between CB radio and ham radio.
(Skip to timecode 1:33 to bypass the introductory chat and talk about the headset microphone.)
Here is a video introduction to shortwave / HF amateur radio -- what is it that we amateur radio oprators listen to? If you have not yet been introduced to this world, this is a very basic introduction.
If you are using software utilities such as Ace-HF, that require a "smoothed" sunspot number
(Referred to as the SSN), or, the smoothed 10.7-cm Radio Flux Index,
use the following predicted values in this following table:
Predicted SMOOTHED Sunspot Number And Radio Flux Values
With Expected Ranges
At 0805 UTC, on 9 August 2011, a strong magnitude X6.9 X-ray flare -- the strongest yet in this current solar cycle (Cycle 24) -- erupted on the northwestern solar limb. Here is a HD Movie of the event:
Videos of Interest - Space Weather, Solar Dynamics Observatory, STEREO, and more... from the NW7US YouTube Channel. (Click on the small image to launch the video...)
Video: Voyager Finds Magnetic Foam at Solar Systems Edge
Video: Zoom View of Prominence Eruption and X-Ray Flare - M2.5 Magnitude - June 7 2011
Video: X-Ray Flare, Coronal Mass Ejection, Proton Storm - M2.5 Magnitude - June 7 2011 (Close-up of the video, above)
Video: Stunning Close-up View of M3 X-Ray Flare 24 February 2011
Video: On How NCIS TV Show Maligned Amateur Radio Service (Full UHD Version)
What's the difference between CB and amateur (ham) radio?
Video: June 2011 20-meter (14-Mhz) JT65A Coverage Map of NW7US Radio Signal
The NW7US Current Sunspot and Geophysical Activity Report
The observations, prognastications, and comments by NW7US
NW7US is Tomas David Hood, Propagation and Space Weather Columnist
for CQ Communications
More about Background X-rays
The hard X-ray energy present from the wavelengths of 1 to 8 Angstroms provide the most effective ionizing energy throughout all of the ionospheric layers in our atmosphere. The GEOS satellites measure these wavelengths and the resulting measurements are reported as the "background X-ray level" throughout the day. A daily average is reported, as well.
Just like X-ray flares, the background hard X-ray level is measured in watts per square meter (W/m2), reported using the categories, A, B, C, M, and X. These letters are multipliers; each class has a peak flux ten times greater than the preceding one. Within a class there is a linear scale from 1 to 9.
If one records the daily background X-ray levels for the course of a sunspot cycle, one would discover that the background X-ray levels remained at the A class level during the sunspot cycle minumum. During the rise and fall of a solar cycle, the background X-ray energy levels remained mostly in the B range. During peak solar cycle periods, the background energy reached the C and sometimes even M levels.
Armed with this information, can we discover any clues as to the current status of Sunspot Cycle 24? Below is a graph plotting the background hard X-ray energy reported by the GEOS satellites since the end of Sunspot Cycle 22. Clearly, we see a noticeable rise in Cycle 24 activity. We're seeing the energy mostly in the B level more often, supporting the view that Cycle 24 is alive and moving along toward an eventual sunspot cycle peak in several years.
Overall, the monthly average background 'hard' X-ray level is rising (as seen by the following plot), showing a change from deep solar cycle minimum. We are certainly in the rising phase of Sunspot Cycle 24. While it has been a slow up-tick over the last eighteen months, I expect to see a more rapid rise during mid to late 2011.
Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity
Covering the period: 12 - 18 April 2021
Solar activity was very low throughout the period with B-class flare activity observed from Rgn 2814 (S22, L=008, class/area Cro/090 on 14 Apr), Rgn 2815 (S21, L=344, class/area Bxo/010 on 16 Apr) and Rgn 2816 (S24, L=264, class/area Cao/080 on 16 Apr). The largest event of the period was a B9 x-ray event observed at 17/1717 UTC from a region beyond the ESE limb. Associated with this event was a Type II radio signature with an estimated shock velocity of 382 km/s and a slow-moving, non-Earth directed CME off the E limb.
No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit.
The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit was at moderate levels on 12-16 Apr. High levels were observed on 17-18 Apr with a maximum flux reading of 14,078 pfu at 18/1905 UTC.
Geomagnetic field activity was at mostly quiet levels on 12-14 Apr with an isolated active period observed late on the 14th. Unsettled to G1 (minor) geomagnetic storm levels were reached early on 15 Apr due to possible effects from the 10 Apr CME. Mostly unsettled to active levels were observed on 16-18 Apr, with G1 (Minor) storn levels observed on 16 and 17 Apr. This activity was all due to recurrent, negative polarity CH HSS influence. During this activity, wind speeds reached 600 km/s, total field reached maximums of 13 nT and the Bz component reached -10 nT at times.
Monthly and smoothed sunspot number - The monthly mean sunspot number (blue) and 13-month smoothed monthly sunspot number (red) for the last five cycles. You can see that this current cycle, Cycle 24, is a weak cycle, compared to the last few.
(Click to see actual size)
Daily and monthly sunspot number (last 13 years)
Daily sunspot number (yellow), monthly mean sunspot number (blue), smoothed monthly sunspot number (red) for the last 13 years and 12-month ahead predictions of the monthly smoothed sunspot number:
SC (red dots) : prediction method based on an interpolation of Waldmeier's standard curves; It is only based on the sunspot number series.
CM (red dashes) : method (from K. Denkmayr and P. Cugnon) combining a regression technique applied to the sunspot number series with the aa geomagnetic index used as a precursor (improved predictions during the minimum phase between solar cycles).
(Click to see actual size)
What is 'Space Weather'? Click on these two information slides to view them in full size:
Solar Flares: Quiet conditions (<50% probability of C-class flares) Geo-Disturbance: Quiet (A<20 and K<4) Solar Proton Event: Quiet
Comment from the SIDC (RWC Belgium): Two, out of several, sunspot groups observed on the visible side of the solar disc have during last 24 hours increased the complexity of their photospheric magnetic field configuration. Catania sunspot groups 87 and 86 (NOAA ARs 2816 and 2817) have presently beta configuration of their photospheric magnetic field. During last 24 hours 17 B-class and one M-class flare were reported, majority of them originating from the Catania sunspot group 86 (NOAA AR 2817). The M1.1 flare observed on April 19 (peaked at 23:42 UT), have originated from the Catania sunspot group 87 (NOAA AR 2816) which is presently still increasing the area and sunspot numbers. During coming hours we can expect B-class flares, and isolated C-class flares. The M-class flares are still possible but not very probable. The M 1.1 flare was associated with the EUV wave, coronal dimming, type II radio burst (indicating presence of a shock wave), and a rather diffuse CME. The CME had angular width of about 100 degrees and projected line of the sight speed of about 500 km/s (as reported by CACTUS software). Although the CME is not very wide, its source region is situated close to the solar disc center and the glancing blow still might be expected at Earth on April 23, although this is not very probable. During last 24 hours the proton flux levels remained at background values.
Three Day Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity
(as of 2200Z on 07 Dec 2014)
Solar activity is expected to be low with a chance for M-class flares on days one, two, and three (08 Dec, 09 Dec, 10 Dec).
The geomagnetic field is expected to be at quiet to minor storm levels on day one (08 Dec), quiet to active levels on day two (09 Dec) and quiet levels on day three (10 Dec).
Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity
19 April - 15 May 2021
Solar activity is expected to be at very low levels during the outlook period.
No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.
The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to reach high levels on 19-24 Apr and 13-15 May due to high speed solar winds. Normal to moderate levels are anticipated for 25-30 Apr and 01-12 May.
Geomagnetic field activity is expected to be at unsettled to active levels on 19-20 Apr, 23-24 Apr, 27-28 Apr, 04 May, 08 May and 11-15 May, with G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storm levels likely on 13-14 May. This activity is all due to recurrent CH HSS influence. Mostly quiet levels are expected for the remainder of the outlook period.
Data and images courtesy of IPS Australia, NOAA, NASA, SWPC, SIDC
Layout, analysis, commentary, and certain forecasts and content is Copyright, 2018, Tomas David Hood (NW7US), all rights reserved.
No part, except for the space weather 'banners', may be copied without express permission.