When I left the house this morning for work, it was all of 52F (11C), which is very cool for New Jersey this time of year. Also, I noticed on the drive in that many of the trees already have leaves that are turning yellow and orange, and many trees have started dropping their leaves. Again, that is something we are accustomed to seeing at the end of September, not August.
But the day heated up, and by lunchtime it was 84F (29C). Quite a warm up! And fortunately, it wasn't only the air temperature that had gotten hot. 17 and 15 Meters were hopping and hot - well, maybe not as hot as a few months ago, but hotter than just a few weeks ago. The sunspot number had risen to 128 making conditions better than they have been in days. I'll take it!
I worked 9Y4/AI5P on Trinidad/Tobago, RI4CWC/3 in Russia and PI4DX in the Netherlands, all on 17 Meters. The thought then occurred to me that if 17 Meters was working so well, then 15 Meters might be worth looking at. It was, and after switching over, I worked OQ4U in Belgium and SP2GUB in Poland. All the stations on both bands had excellent signal strengths and I got decent reports back, the lowest being 559.
I don't know how long these good band conditions will be able to maintain themselves. The way the Sun is throwing fits and starts, it may not be for that long. But if you get a chance, get on the air and make hay while the opportunity presents itself!
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!