Register Account

Login Help

ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter
February 8, 2024
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
ARRL Home PageARRL Letter ArchiveAudio News


California Storms: Amateur Radio is Ready

Southern California continues to feel the effects of a significant rain event that began last week, bringing record rainfall, landslides, and hurricane-strength winds. The heavy rain is the result of two atmospheric rivers, referred to as "Pineapple Expresses" because of their origins near Hawaii. Nearly half a year's worth of rain has fallen in two days. Since Sunday, February 4, areas in Los Angeles County have seen nearly one foot of rain, which has now moved east into western Arizona, southern Nevada, and southwestern Utah, raising the risk of flash flooding in those areas.

A NOAA radar image of the storm approaching California on January 30, 2024.

ARRL Director of Emergency Management Josh Johnston, KE5MHV, has been in contact with Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) leadership from throughout the affected area. "ARES member-volunteers are ready to be pressed into service when called upon by one of their local served agencies," he said.

The situation continues to evolve, Johnston has received several situation updates from ARES leaders.

Flooding has caused damage and road closures across California like this road on Camp Pendleton. [LCpl. Mhecaela Watts, USMC, photo.]

ARRL San Joaquin Valley (SJV) Section Emergency Coordinator Dan Sohn, WL7COO, wrote:

The SJV Section is experiencing electrical power outages caused by high winds affecting tens of thousands of homes and businesses mostly in the westernmost, lower-elevation Central Valley counties and elevations at or above about 3,500 feet above sea level... The incoming atmospheric river appears to be moving more to the north than the last two storms, so we'll see what that brings the SJV counties that are already saturated... and [we] hope that it lessens the life-threatening, ongoing damage throughout southern California.

Johnston also received this update from ARRL Nevada Section Emergency Coordinator John Abrott, KD7NHC:

Here in northern Nevada, a varying amount of snow was received. I received reports from Carson City of 10 - 11, inches, and reports of 10 - 13 inches in Carson Valley and parts of Reno. There are several feet of snow at higher elevations. I have not received any reports of ARES members being activated. Several counties were requested to be ready in the event that their services were needed. Major roads are clear, but residential streets still have snow.

ARES teams are ready when needed and will continue monitor the situations in California and affected neighboring states. Check ARRL News for the latest updates.

Amateur Radio Goes to High School in New York City

Staten Island Technical High School is the first New York City school to receive a grant from ARRL.

ARRL Education and Learning Manager Steve Goodgame, K5ATA, said ARRL is working with the school in several ways. "We are working with them to build and equip an amateur radio station, to test and license students, and to put [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)] kits in the classroom thanks to a grant from Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC)."

Goodgame visited the school several weeks ago to help administer amateur radio license tests, and with the help of the school's engineering and technology teacher, Everton Henriques, KD2ZZT, there are now 32 juniors and seniors who are newly licensed amateur radio operators. Henriques attended the ARRL Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology last year, and he intends to return to the program in 2024 for additional preparation and training.

The ARRL Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology is a donor-funded professional development program designed to help teachers elevate their STEM programs through the use of wireless technology.

World Radio Day

World Radio Day 2024 will be on February 13, and this year's theme is, "A Century Informing, Entertaining and Educating."

World Radio Day was first celebrated in 2012, following its declaration by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) General Conference. It was subsequently adopted as an International Day by the United Nations General Assembly. Amateur radio is included in the celebration.

The EA Digital Federation designates the day as AO#WRD: World Radio Day, and they will have nine special event stations on the air on February 9 - 18. The stations will be active on different bands and modes, including phone, CW, and digital. You can locate the stations through the DX cluster or the agenda of activity on their website.

Operating times and special QSL information can be found at FEDI-EA - AO#WRD: World Radio Day 2024 (

Amateur Radio in the News

ARRL Public Information Officers, Coordinators, and many other member-volunteers help keep amateur radio and ARRL in the news.

"ASCTE hosts radio conversation with astronaut on the International Space Station" / WAFF (Alabama) February 1, 2024

"Capital City HamFest 2024" / WLBT (Mississippi) February 2, 2024 -- The Jackson Amateur Radio Club is an ARRL Affiliated Club.

"New amateur radio group established in Upshur County" / My BUCKHANNON (West Virginia) February 5, 2024

Share any amateur radio media hits you spot with us.

ARRL Podcasts

On the Air
Sponsored by

The Joys of Being a General

The January/February 2024 issue of On the Air featured a story from Brian McSpadden Gardener, KE8JVX, about "The First-Year Experiences of a General-Class Ham," in which Brian detailed how he got his feet wet as a General, and how he put together his first station for HF. Brian joins this episode of the podcast to tell us a little more about his first year as a General, as well as what he's done since then.

ARRL Audio News
Listen to ARRL Audio News, available every Friday. ARRL Audio News is a summary of the week's top news stories in the world of amateur radio and ARRL, along with interviews and other features.

The On the Air podcast and ARRL Audio News are available on blubrry, iTunes, and Apple Podcasts -- On the Air | ARRL Audio News.


This year, George Washington's birthday will be celebrated by three amateur radio clubs. From 1500Z to 2100Z on February 17, the Washington Area Amateur Radio Club, W0ARC, will be active on 7.071, 7.200, 14.071, 14.275, 21.074, 21.310, 28.071, and 28.350 MHz, as well 10, 15, 20, and 40 MHz phone. A commemorative QSL card will be available for those who send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Mark Lukins, AB0DX, at 802 N Second Ave in Washington, Iowa (zip code 52353). On February 18 - 19, from 1500Z to 2000Z, the Mount Vernon Amateur Radio Club (MVARC) will operate from George Washington's Mount Vernon estate on 7.042, 7.242, 14.042, and 14.242 MHZ. For more information, email The Columbia Basin DX Club, WS7G, will celebrate Washington's birthday on February 21 - 24 from 0001Z to 2359Z. WS7G will operate on 14.322, 14.255, 7.222, and 7.260 MHz. For a commemorative certificate and a QSL card, contact Brian Nielson, W7BJN, at 11650 Road 1 SE in Monitor, Washington (zip code 98836).

In Brief...

As part of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program, students at Lilburn Elementary School in Lilburn, Georgia, were able to contact the International Space Station (ISS) on February 7 and talk to astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, KI5WSL. The contact took place with help from Daryl Young, K4RGK, ARISS representative and member of the North Fulton Amateur Radio League (NFARL). Students were able to ask 15 questions, ranging from "What is the grossest thing about living in space?" to "Have you read the Dog Man books?" Astronaut Moghbeli said that collecting and loading the trash into a special waste vehicle is the grossest job on the ISS. As for the Dog Man books, she has not read them -- yet -- but would be interested in trying them. She also talked about growing tomatoes in space, and how her most important job on the ISS is brushing her teeth every morning. You can view a recording of the contact on YouTube.

ARISS is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the ISS. In the US, participating organizations include NASA's Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) program, the ISS National Laboratory -- Space Station Explorers, ARRL, and AMSAT.

The SouthWest Ohio DX Association (SWODXA), in conjunction with Icom® America, Inc., has announced a DX Mentor Recognition Program to recognize and reward amateur radio operators who have helped others achieve DXCC. An application form is now available for those who wish to nominate their DX mentor. Amateurs who have received mentoring from a nominee must be under 30 years of age during the calendar year of the award; targeting this age group is meant to keep such amateurs engaged in the hobby after they achieve DXCC. The judging committee will comprise SWODXA representatives and a representative from both the Northern California DX Foundation (NCDXF) and the International DX Association (INDEXA). The awards will be presented at the DX Dinner, held annually in conjunction with Dayton Hamvention®. More information and the entry form can be found at or by emailing

The K7RA Solar Update

Tad Cook, K7RA, of Seattle, Washington, reports for this week's ARRL Propagation Bulletin, ARLP006:

This solar disk image was taken on February 8, 2024. [Photo courtesy of NASA SDO/HMI]

Over the recent reporting week (February 1 - 7) ten new sunspot groups emerged: five on February 1, one on February 2, another on February 3, two on February 5, and one more on February 7.

Sunspot numbers and solar flux rose, and geomagnetic numbers were quieter.

The average daily sunspot number increased from 71.8 to 142.3, and the average daily solar flux rose from 145.4 to 165.5.

Geomagnetic conditions were quieter. The average daily planetary A index decreased from 6.9 to 5.1, and the average middle latitude numbers decreased from 5.6 to 4.4.

The following data is sourced from the US Air Force and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):

Predicted solar flux is 180, 175, 170, 172, and 178 on February 8 - 12; 180, 182, 165, and 170 on February 13 - 16; 160 on February 17 - 21; 165 and 160 on February 22 - 23; 150 on February 24 - 28; 155, 160, and 165 on February 29 through March 2, and 170 on March 3 - 5.

Predicted planetary A index is 5, 15, 12, and 8 on February 8 - 11; 5 on February 12 - 25; 8 and 7 on February 26 - 27, and 5 on February 28 through March 2.

Visit the following websites for recent solar news:

IFL Science:;

The Independent Digital News and Media Limited United Kingdom:

News Nine India:

The Mint India:

Sunspot numbers for February 1 through 7, 2024, were 113, 131, 123, 138, 152, 175, and 164, with a mean of 142.3. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 136.9, 142.6, 156.4, 170.4, 173.4, 190.3, and 188.4, with a mean of 165.5. Estimated planetary A indices were 5, 3, 3, 6, 7, 8, and 4, with a mean of 5.1. Middle latitude A index was 4, 3, 2, 5, 6, 8, and 3, with a mean of 4.4.

Send your tips, questions, or comments to

A comprehensive K7RA Solar Update is posted Fridays on the ARRL website. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service, read "What the Numbers Mean...," and check out the Propagation Page of Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA.

A propagation bulletin archive is available. For customizable propagation charts, visit the VOACAP Online for Ham Radio website.

Share your reports and observations.

A weekly, full report is posted on ARRL News.

Just Ahead in Radiosport
  • February 10 - 11 -- CQ WW RTTY WPX Contest (digital)

  • February 10 -- Asia-Pacific Spring Sprint (CW)

  • February 10 - 11 -- KCJ Topband Contest (CW)

  • February 10 - 11 -- Dutch PACC Contest (CW, phone)

  • February 10 - 11 -- SKCC Weekend Sprintathon (CW)

  • February 10 - 11 -- OMISS QSO Party (phone)

  • February 10 -- RSGB 1.8 MHz Contest (CW)

  • February 11 -- Balkan HF Contest CW (phone)

  • February 12 -- 4 States QRP Group Second Sunday Sprint (CW, phone)

  • February 12 - 16 -- ARRL School Club Roundup (CW, phone)

  • February 14 -- PODXS 070 Club Valentine Sprint (digital)

  • February 14 -- NAQCC CW Sprint (CW)

  • February 14 -- DARC FT4 Contest (FT4)

  • February 14 -- RSGB 80m Club Championship, Data (digital)

  • February 15 - 16 -- Walk for the Bacon QRP Contest (CW)

  • February 15 -- NTC QSO Party (CW)

Visit the ARRL Contest Calendar for more events and information.

Upcoming Section, State, and Division Conventions

Search the ARRL Hamfest and Convention Database to find events in your area.

Have News for ARRL?

Submissions for the ARRL Letter and ARRL News can be sent to -- John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, ARRL News Editor

ARRL -- Your One-Stop Resource for
Amateur Radio News and Information

  • Join ARRL or Renew Today! No other organization works harder to promote and protect amateur radio. Membership supports benefits, services, programs, and advocacy to help you get (and stay) active and on the air. Membership includes access to digital editions of all four ARRL magazines: QST, On the Air, QEX, and NCJ.

  • Listen to ARRL Audio News, available every Friday.

  • The ARRL Letter is available in an accessible format, posted weekly to the Blind-hams email group. The group is dedicated to discussions about amateur radio as it concerns blind hams, plus related topics including ham radio use of adaptive technology.

  • NCJ -- National Contest Journal. Published bimonthly, features articles by top contesters, letters, hints, statistics, scores, NA Sprint, and QSO parties.

Free of charge to ARRL members...

  • Subscribe to the ARES Letter (monthly public service and emergency communications news), the ARRL Contest Update (biweekly contest newsletter), Division and Section news alerts, and much more!



The ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter offers a weekly summary of essential news of interest to active amateurs that is available in advance of publication in QST, our official journal. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise and readable.

Much of the ARRL Letter content is also available in audio form in ARRL Audio News.

Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be given to The ARRL Letter and The American Radio Relay League.

Back issues published since 2000 are available on this page. If you wish to subscribe via e-mail, simply log on to the ARRL Web site, click on Edit Your Profile at the top, then click on Edit Email Subscriptions. Check the box next to The ARRL email newsletter, the ARRL Letter and you will receive each weekly issue in HTML format. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!):

Editorial questions or comments: John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, at


The ARRL E-Letter e-mail is also available in plain-text version:

Outlook Express

1. From the Inbox view, select the Tools menu and the Options selection.

2. Click the Read tab

3. Check the Read All Messages In Plain Text box.  When you open the e-mail, it will be in plain text without images. Other e-mail programs may be able to make a Mail Rule for e-mail received from the address so that the plain-text-only display is selected automatically.

Outlook 2007

Use the same procedure as for Outlook Express, although the global option is under "Tools/Trust Center/E-mail Security".


Use the menu item "View/Message Body As/Plain Text" or "View/Message Source" options.

OS X Mail (Mac)

Use the "View/Message/Plain Text Alternative" menu item.


Use the "Message text garbled?" link in the drop-down menu at the upper right of the displayed message block. pine, alpine Set "prefer-plain-text" in your ~/.pinerc configuration file: feature-list=..., prefer-plain-text, ...


Instragram     Facebook     Twitter     YouTube     LinkedIn