This map from 2-July-2003 covers from 16:00z to 21:42z. A small cloud appeared suddently over the north-west of Morocco allowing initially many QSOs between EA8 and the spanish mainland. Then it clearly moved to the north-east while it was getting wider and wider till finally covering almost all Spain. At about 19:00z the MUF dropped below 144 MHz but one hour later it rised again over north-east Spain. The later shown QSO between EA1 and EA8 was very possibly tropo.
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It shows the evolution, size and MUF of the sporadic-E cloud that caused the opening on 144 MHz. and it is an estimation based on the information I have picked up here and there of QSOs and reports of European stations. I don't claim it to be accurate but just an estimation that could help understand what happened that day.
Also please notice that sometimes you will see MUF rise very quickly. This is because of the almost complete lack of data for frequencies between 51 and 144 MHz. and that leads to shown MUF rising almost 90 MHz in one minute. You should understand that this is not the usual behaviour of MUF, but the result of the lack of data mentioned above.
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