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)

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!

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)

04 Apr 2014 PNW Migration Update

Another cold front is moving in from the Pacific.  Lots of clouds and scattered precipitation.  In the loops we can see a wee bit of opportunistic migration but that’s about it.  It’s still early in the season and there are better days ahead.

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

04 Apr Base Reflectivity - Portland (KRTX)

04 Apr HC - Portland (KRTX)

Here is Paul’s archived National Radar Composite from yesterday.  The severe storms pounding the mid-west kept migrants restricted to the Gulf States last night.  The southern portion of the Pacific Flyway was quite active, and some of those birds are headed our way.

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

Next update will be on Monday the 7th.

03 Apr 2014 PNW Migration Update

Very quick post –

Light north winds like last night (LaPuma correction) winds were out of the SSW and the birds were jammin’!  20+ dBZ most of the night.

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

03 Apr Base Reflectivity - Portland (KRTX)

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

03 Apr  Base Reflectivity - Seattle (KATX)

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)

02 Apr 2014 PNW Migration Update

The small ridge of high pressure has eased inland over night and has pushed the weather east.  The north winds are light and not forceful enough to keep the migrants grounded.  Looking at the loops from last night we see the west counties loaded up while the east counties were dealing with the remnant low.

The coast and the I5 corridor to our north also had significant migrant turnover so those loops are included in today’s update.  Yellowthroats, Orange-crown Warblers, and shorebirds are all popping up on the listserves.  As well as the usual overly optimistic sightings of Swainson’s Thrushes.  Sigh.

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

02 Apr Base Reflectivity - Portland (KRTX)

02 Apr Base Velocity - Portland (KRTX)

31 Mar HC - Portland (KRTX)

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

02 Apr  Base Reflectivity - Seattle (KATX)

Here is Paul’s archived National Radar Composite from yesterday.  The Atlantic Flyway has it’s first significant widespread migration event last night.  Cuban birds jumped the Straits, and the Gulf Coast was lit up again.  Good stuff!

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

01 Apr 2014 PNW Migration Upate

In spite of the weather the birds were able to find a window early in the evening to get a bit further north.  When looking at the Reflectivity loop from last night shortly after sunset (03:00 UTC – 20:00 PDT) you will see a flight up the I5 corridor.  The localized nature of these storm cells is allowing for some opportunistic advances north, and the SSE winds are aiding in those efforts.

There is a ridge of high pressure behind this current system which may dry things out but will also be bringing winds out of the north.  For the migrants its all about timing.

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

31 Mar Base Reflectivity - Portland (KRTX)

31 Mar Base Velocity - Portland (KRTX)

Here is Paul’s archived National Radar Composite from yesterday.  Widespread migration along the Gulf Coast, up into the Ohio Valley, and along the western flanks of the Appalachians, but shut down most everywhere else.

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