Cycle 25 has certainly provided a much needed boost to the joy of HF especially coming on the heels of one of the weakest solar cycles in the history of radio. While many of us are taking full advantage of the improved conditions on 20-10 meters, it’s useful to note that current results are a temporary condition.
This solar cycle began in December 2019 which means we’re beginning to get in deep. Scientists who study these things don’t believe we have hit the peak portion of this cycle yet, but many say we are getting close to that event. The standard prediction says solar maximum will occur in 2025 — just two years from now.
But there are many solar prognosticators with many opposing theories about this science and some say Cycle 25 could result in a double-peak variation where there are actually two peaks during the over all cycle – which sounds good until you realize two peaks mean two minimums.
It’s all a bit confusing and opposing scientific theories don’t make it any easier to predict what lies ahead. That’s compounded by the fact that this is one of those sciences best explained after the fact. We will be two years into Cycle 26 before we really know how 25 turned out!
The only thing certain is that the higher frequencies are alive and well and those who enjoy chasing DX and the fun of maximum communications using modest equipment and antennas should be taking full advantage of these conditions right now.
Good radio propagation at HF should be considered a rare commodity and the only thing for certain is that these too shall pass.