Fire and Rain

Summer has been fairly miserable here so far, and yes, I understand it’s only now officially arriving. The typically mild spring to summer transition that was so prevalent here in the Heartland when I was a youngster has been missing for quite some time. These days it goes like this — put the snow shovel away on Friday evening and turn on the air-conditioning on Monday morning. That has become our springtime in this new climate age.

Temps in the high 80’s with even higher humidity, and so far this month, eight inches of rain distributed with daily doses of thunder. “Miserable” is about the best way to describe it. The daily storms have made ham radio at HF nearly impossible. After days of disconnecting/reconnecting the feed line due to thunder, I finally surrendered and have just left it unhooked. And to think, we only have 13 more weeks to go!

It will be interesting to see if the weather has much impact on Field Day activity in these parts. I know I’m feeling no significant urge to spend time outdoors in anything that isn’t climate controlled. And given all the precipitation, perhaps a houseboat isn’t out of the question. But it’s still a week away and perhaps by then, this diluvial period will have subsided.

From all accounts, I haven’t been missing much while QRT except for some seasonal action on 6m. The HF bands look to be in poor to middling condition with Old Sol tossing up enough plasmic chum to make life on the short waves painful.

The journey to solar minimum will no doubt be attended by diminished activity on 20-10 meters. Interest in DX will likely suffer, and those without the ability to succeed on the lower bands may decide to put ham radio on pause and wait things out, much the way I have while trying to wait out this spate of bad weather.

Author: Jeff Davis