About an hour before this screen shot was taken (2300z – ish) I was listening to local California hams on 40M SSB when all of a sudden the band went long – and it was like someone pulled a switch. Now – SO1WS is coming in S7. It was very cool indeed.
This is exactly how the autumnal equinox conditions start, and on cue – we are there. I’m going to bet that the morning LP to ZS will improve, but that night time short path to Africa will start improving. [UPDATE: ZS stations on the Long Path this morning – 9-4-2017 were quite good – not as good as usual, but the path is opening again]
I worked ZS8M in September, 2010, and here is what the solar cycle progression looks like between then and now:
I worked Pierre at 0409z on September 16th, 2010, and we were just barely coming out of a horrible several year bottom of cycle 23. I say horrible because I wasn’t a serious low bander – besides 40M, in fact, I had just missed 2 years that some say were the best on 160M. In 2010 I was still 3 years away from Honor Roll – so the higher bands had priority at KY6R.
What is most encouraging is that conditions (that haven’t felt all that great for some time now) are actually about what they were when I had my QSO with ZS8M. He had a very compromised antenna and 100 watts, and so – 3Y0Z in comparison will be at the other end of the spectrum.
So – this is pretty good news – and fingers crossed that we stay in the “bump” predicted by NOAA and others.