Hysteresis of foF2 at European middle latitudes
Abstract. The hysteresis of foF2 is studied for several European stations over the whole 24-hour diurnal interval for the equinoctial months of the years just before and just after the solar cycle minimum for solar cycles 20 and 21. Based on previous results, the hysteresis is expected to develop best just for the equinoctial months and near the solar cycle minimum. The hysteresis is generally found to be negative, i.e. higher foF2 for the rising branch compared to the falling branch of solar cycle. However, this is not the case in some individual months of some years. The noontime hysteresis represents the hysteresis at other times of the day qualitatively (as to sign) but not quantitatively. The hysteresis appears to be relatively persistent from one solar cycle to another solar cycle in spring but not in autumn. A typical value for springtime hysteresis is about 0.5 MHz. The inclusion of hysteresis into long-term ionospheric and radio wave propagation predictions remains questionable.
Key words: Ionosphere (mid-latitude ionosphere; ionospheric disturbances)