Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • Letter
  • Published:

Atmospheric Effects on Short-Wave Radio Propagation


IN a recent note1, we showed that for oversea paths which were low and non-optical, the received radio field-strength on centimetre wave-lengths was much increased by the presence of low-level atmospheric ducts lying directly on the sea. These ducts, which trap the radiation, appear to have heights of up to about 100 ft. over the sea around the coasts of Britain. The purpose of this note is to show that, whereas such ducts have a pronounced effect on the propagation of centimetre-wave radiation for paths lying predominantly within the ducts, they have little effect on the same wave-lengths when either or both transmitting and receiving aerials are well above the top of the duct, or on metre wavelengths even for the same low paths which show pronounced duct effects on centimetre wave-lengths.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Nature, 162, 818 (1948).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  2. Ratcliffe. J. A., Nature, 162, 9 (1948).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

MCPETRIE, J., STARKEY, B. Atmospheric Effects on Short-Wave Radio Propagation. Nature 163, 958–959 (1949).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing