Memorial Day Weekend 2024 Six meter Sporadic-E opening

This weekend has been interesting. Around mid-day Friday, 24 May 2024 (UTC), I noticed a little band opening on 6m. Nothing too remarkable, I was just starting to hear stations that were out of the ordinary for me. First came a contact with KU4WW in EM64 (Alabama). His signal was very loud here in Maryland and was the start of what I recognized as Sportadic-E. Next came contacts with WM5L (DM91), K5YT (EM22), and K5ND (EM12) all from Texas. This was followed by contacts with W0XR (DM22) and others in western Arizona. These last few contacts were definitely Multihop Sporadic-E!

Map of United States showing a cluster of radio stations in Texas and then a separate cluster of radio stations in Arizona.

The map above shows a clear cluster of stations hearing me in northeast Texas and then another cluster of stations in Arizona. The Texas cluster is representative of Sporadic-E propagation while the Arizona cluster is Multihop Sporadic-E (basically, the signal was strong enough to bounce off the earth and return to the E-layer of the atmosphere where it found another charged cloud that bounced the signal back to the ground). Signals received at my station also had to follow a similar path back meaning that the E-layer of the atmosphere was strongly charged.

Six meter yagi Stations on the west coast were rewarded with multihop Sporadic-E contacts in Japan and Australia while those of us on the east coast had contacts with Europe. While my station was heard once in France, I never did make any transatlantic contacts. I suspect having my antenna up higher would have helped.

All-in-all, I had a most productive weekend. Of the eighteen grids worked, twelve were new for me! Best DX is with W0XR (DM22tp) at 2,151 miles (3462 km).