Sunday, 10 July 2016

I have returned, plus the RSGB Es prediction problems resolved

I am back after a short break without radio.

Here is a photo of me looking fairly grumpy on the quay at Oslo, in Norway.

I did not really have anything to grump about, I just seem to look like that nowadays.

Before I left I had meant to post an update on the RSGB Sporadic E predeictions. I did not get a chance to get it posted so here it is a bit late.

A week before I left they said this:-

Sporadic-E may be poorer next week as the main Atlantic jet stream activity has already migrated north, leaving much of central Europe under a much slacker pattern. The absence of active jet streams over Europe probably means that one of the main Sporadic-E triggers, gravity waves, may be missing or reduced. These waves propagate up from the turbulence of the jet stream at 12km height to the E region at 120km.

This absence will make Sporadic-E hard to come by except perhaps for the more northern paths across to Scandinavia where the jet stream may be slightly more active.

 So, poor Es and any there is will be across to Scandinavia.
Here is the result I had in that predictions period:-  

You may call me picky, but Scotland to Portugal is not really what I would call Scandinavia. I did have one contact which was North of East, Finland, but all the rest were in the South East quadrant or Portugal. And if that is poor Es due to a lack of gravity waves, I would settle for it any day. That is definitely good in my book.

I now have a working method to deal with these RSGB predictions. I found that just ignoring them did not help me. Much better is to read them and do the opposite. If they say "poor Es", then expect good Es. If they say, "Northerly paths", expect mostly Southerly paths.

This new system has been working well for me for a couple of weeks.

Regular readers know that I have been complaining about the RSGB reports being wrong for ages. It is not just this one week. But now I know how to use them!

I know they say "may be" poorer, but why state predictions if they are not fairly confident that they will happen? Now that I have found the key as to how to use them I am doing rather well towards my targets. 

I am not saying that jet streams and gravity waves do not play a part in understanding Es (though I suspect that they have little to do with it). I do not have the proof to say that. However, over the weeks and months of observations I can say that the predictions based on the idea that they do play a part seem to be entirely wrong at this QTH. Indeed, they are a good indicator of the opposite.

So thanks for the (inverted) help, lads. 

There is a difference between saying some factor influences something and making predicitons based on that.

I used to think that wrong predictions were worse than no predictions. Now I realise that consistently wrong predictions can actually inform me about what isn't going to happpen, which is useful information in itself.

Normal service is resumed!



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