The Sun currently is active, with powerful, complex magnetic structures that have formed a healthy number of sunspots. We are seeing a fair number of x-ray flares, which push the 10.7-cm flux higher than we’ve seen in a while.
Sunspots and flares means better propagation in general, especially on the higher frequencies of the shortwave spectrum. While a flare can cause a short period of “blackout” conditions (especially on the lower frequencies) on the sunlit side of the Earth, such activity is part of the positive activity that ionizes the F-region, providing for DX.
Here’s a movie of one such flare and the release of solar plasma, a release known as a coronal mass ejection (CME): At about midnight, UTC, on 6 November 2013, a moderately-strong M-class flare erupted, with a “beautiful” CME: http://g.nw7us.us/18a0QvI
We will see continued flare activity over the weekend, so expect great conditions on the HF bands, with momentary blackouts. Keep up to the minute on space weather at http://SunSpotWatch.com
73 – de NW7US
Propagation Columnist, CQ Communications Magazine, Popular Communications Magazine