18 Apr 2014 PNW Migration Update

Mixed bag of sketchy weather.  It’s really kind of disorganized out there weather wise.  So, while some birds are still pushing north in spite of it all, not many.  There will be some turnover at your favorite spring patch, but better days are ahead.  Vanguard Vaux’s Swifts are being reported, hopefully reliable – early Swainson’s Thrush, Wilson’s Warblers, and Black-headed Grosbeaks.  Shorebirds are definitely on the move.  In a mad dash past my local mud puddle there were 40ish Dunlin poking around and well on their way to full breeding (alternate) plumage.  Let’s take a look at some radar.

Pacific Northwest Radar: (Click on the links below to open the .gif files in a new window)

18 Apr Base Reflectivity - Portland (KRTX)

18 Apr HC - Portland (KRTX)

And because it is always a treat to watch the flight over the straits of Florida here is the Reflectivity loop from Key West last night:

18 Apr Base Reflectivity – Key West (KBYX)

Here is the grand view of the winds aloft from Earth:

18 Apr  Earth

Here is Paul’s archived National Radar Composite from yesterday.

And here are the weather maps (click on any image to bring up a full gallery view)

17 Apr 2014 PNW Migration Update

The fast moving weak ridge and advancing low has our conditions mixed for this night’s migration window.  Winds are out of the WSW as the low is centered north of us.  On the HC loop we can see some signs of birds picking their way between the rain drops.  It’s hard to tell the magnitude, but i wouldn’t think it heavy.  There will be some new arrivals in the area.  Chipping Sparrows are back.

Pacific Northwest Radar: (Click on the links below to open the .gif files in a new window)

17 Apr Base Reflectivity - Portland (KRTX)

17 Apr HC - Portland (KRTX)

Here is the grand view of the winds aloft from Earth:

17 Apr  Earth

Here is Paul’s archived National Radar Composite from yesterday.  Nice movement along the Gulf Coast and up the Mississippi Flyway last night.  Comparing the radar to the “Earth” wind map from last night is the best way to visualize migration patterns and the interaction with weather.

And here are the weather maps (click on any image to bring up a full gallery view)

16 Apr 2014 PNW Migration Update

A bit of a shift in the weather.  We’re in the boundary area of the current low trough and an advancing high ridge.  Scattered rain and WNW winds.  These are not ideal conditions, but not terrible.  Migrants were on the wing, just not in great numbers.  Probably the strong fliers like geese and ducks pushed through.  However the dickie birds will probably put down to keep their feathers dry and ease up on the metabolic load.  It looks like they met the rain in the Metro area.  Could be a good day to go and check out your favorite patch this morning.

Today’s loops are of the Reflectivity, Velocity and Hydrometeor Classification.  I find when there is a lot of noise from clouds and precipitation mixed in with the birds it is useful to use all three to verify the presence of biological targets and that they are indeed moving north, against the wind.

Pacific Northwest Radar: (Click on the links below to open the .gif files in a new window)

16 Apr Base Reflectivity - Portland (KRTX)

16 Apr Base Velocity - Portland (KRTX)

16 Apr HC - Portland (KRTX)

Here is the grand view of the winds aloft from Earth:

16 Apr  Earth

Here is Paul’s archived National Radar Composite from yesterday.  It was a low density migration last night.  Texas coast, a few spots up the Central Flyway, and the Southwest being the top hosts.  Other patches here and there.

And here are the weather maps (click on any image to bring up a full gallery view)

15 apr 2014 PNW Migration Update

With winds shifting to WNW the pace of migration abated a bit last night.  Or perhaps they were spooked by the blood moon.  Either way the march north continues just at a slower pace.

All of the swallows have been reported, a Western Flycatcher, and reports to our south on the appearance of Wilson’s Warblers.  Here they come.

Pacific Northwest Radar: (Click on the links below to open the .gif files in a new window)

15 Apr Base Reflectivity - Portland (KRTX)

15 Apr Base Reflectivity – Gray’s Harbor (KLGX)

15 Apr  Base Reflectivity - Seattle (KATX)

Here is the grand view of the winds aloft from Earth:

15 Apr  Earth

Here is Paul’s archived National Radar Composite from yesterday.  The SE coast, a couple of spots in New England and along the Pacific Flyway.  But other than that, the Northerlies had the birds sit last night out.

And here are the weather maps (click on any image to bring up a full gallery view)

14 Apr 2014 PNW Migration Update

Over the weekend the high pressure system parked out in the Pacific kept winds out of the north.  They weren’t particularly strong and movement north took place but at a lackluster pace.

Now that the next low trough is moving in it’s leading edge is drawing wind up out of the south and that is a much more favorable set of conditions.  And, last night’s radar bears witness.  Solid heavy, 20+ dBZ, migration across the region.  Migrants are arriving a wee bit earlier than the norm. Cassin’s Vireo, Nashville Warbler, Vaux’s Swifts — all being reported from the area.  Duck numbers continue to dwindle and the geese are thinning out a bit.

Pacific Northwest Radar: (Click on the links below to open the .gif files in a new window)

14 Apr Base Reflectivity - Portland (KRTX)

14 Apr Base Reflectivity – Gray’s Harbor (KLGX)

14 Apr  Base Reflectivity - Seattle (KATX)

Here is the grand view of the winds aloft from Earth:

14 Apr  Earth

Here is Paul’s archived National Radar Composite from yesterday.  Both coasts are jammed with birds and the mid-west sat last night out.  Check out the image from Earth above and all will be revealed.

And here are the weather maps (click on any image to bring up a full gallery view)

11 Apr 2014 PNW Migration Update

Winds are out of the north as the high pressure ridge remains in place offshore.  But they are not proving to be overly restrictive.  Birds are on the move again.  Not quite as heavy as last night – probably due to the increased wind speed.

Barn Swallows are now in the area.  Black-thoated Grays, Empids, and Kingbirds are just to our south.  Ah, don’t you just love this time of the year!

Pacific Northwest Radar: (Click on the links below to open the .gif files in a new window)

11 Apr Base Reflectivity - Portland (KRTX)

11 Apr Base Reflectivity – Gray’s Harbor (KLGX)

11 Apr  Base Reflectivity - Seattle (KATX)

Here is the grand view of the winds aloft at 850 hPa (mb):
(go here for the dynamic experience)

11 Apr  Earth

Here is Paul’s archived National Radar Composite from yesterday.  Now, if you compare the “grand view” with the radar composite it just makes sense.

And here are the weather maps (click on any image to bring up a full gallery view)

Let me take just a bit here to talk about http://earth.nullschool.net,  This code is just amazing.  You can zoom in, zoom out, and rotate to anywhere on earth.  You can select the winds at eight different altitudes.  There are eight weather data overlays available.  There are eight earth projections available.  You can go back in time by 3 hr or daily intervals up to 5 days!  I am just simply blown away.   Cameron Beccario (@cambecc) is a freaking genius!  Here’s an update:  you can even switch the mode to observer ocean currents!

Breaking News!!!!

Creator of . You sir are amazing! Thank you so much for this.

I found out about this fabulous interface from Nemisis Bird.

Andy McGann   has a great write up about earth.nullschool.net that if your interested, you should go read.

nuff said.

Oh, and Tom is back covering the Northeast.

10 Apr 2014 PNW Migration Update

Another free pass north.  North winds, but only a whisper, and clear skies brings widespread heavy migration in the 20+ dBZ range.  On the move they are.  Keep an eye out for the oddball in the group and you might come up with a Marsh Sandpiper like they did down in Solano County yesterday.

Pacific Northwest Radar: (Click on the links below to open the .gif files in a new window)

10 Apr Base Reflectivity - Portland (KRTX)

10 Apr Base Reflectivity – Gray’s Harbor (KLGX)

10 Apr  Base Reflectivity - Seattle (KATX)

Here is Paul’s archived National Radar Composite from yesterday.  Not much happening along the Atlantic Flyway last night.  But millions of birds were moving up the Mississippi and Central Flyways..  There was a curtain of weather from the Dakotas through Minnesota that closed off the north end but other than that — solid blue.

And here are the weather maps (click on any image to bring up a full gallery view)

09 Apr 2014 PNW Migration Update

The advance of this little trough brought a little rain and winds shifting to NNW.  Not ideal and most migrants sat last night out waiting for better times.  In today’s loop you can see a few flocks brave the conditions but not many.  This same scenario was repeated across the whole Pacific Northwest.  Birds are still pushing north to the south of us.  The Shasta listserve is lit up with Black-headed Grosbeaks, Black-throated Gray’s, and Orioles.  It won’t be long now.

Pacific Northwest Radar: (Click on the links below to open the .gif files in a new window)

09 Apr Base Reflectivity - Portland (KRTX)

Here is Paul’s archived National Radar Composite from yesterday.  From Brownsville to Sacramento, the Southwest saw the heaviest migration last night.  It was kind of patchy up the Central Flyway and pretty much a non-event elsewhere.

And here are the weather maps (click on any image to bring up a full gallery view)

08 Apr 2014 PNW Migration Update

Two in a row.  Clear, calm, with supporting south winds.  Migration is accelerating.  Black-headed Grosbeaks and Orioles are on their way.  Tanagers, Kingbirds and everyone’s favorites – the Empids can’t be far behind.

Another 20+ dBZ night up and down the Pacific Flyway.

08 Apr Base Reflectivity - Portland (KRTX)

08 Apr Base Reflectivity – Gray’s Harbor (KLGX)

08 Apr  Base Reflectivity - Seattle (KATX)

Here is Paul’s archived National Radar Composite from yesterday.  From the Rockies eastward migration was shut down except in a few pockets along the Gulf.  With a really nice flight across the FL Straits.  Hope they make it.

Badbirdz has a great update from Florida called Weather and Birds.  Angel & Mariel discuss “Fallout” conditions from the perspective of the birds.  Check it out, it’s worth the read even if you already know everything.

And here are the weather maps (click on any image to bring up a full gallery view)