As the low passes through, the ridge continues to build in behind pushing the winds out of the north and bringing a flood of migrants. It was one of those signature nights the migrants wait for. Streaming across the Strait, torrents of birds along the coast, and a deluge down the I5 corridor. We are dripping with birds tonight!
A reminder about these links: The regional level loops will break in a few days, NCAR does not archive the images past that. Paul’s loop will remain in perpetuity — he’s like that. The forecast links are dynamic and constantly updated. That is; if you go to past posts and follow those links, they will look just like today’s link.
Peak Reflectivity (KRTX)
Peak Reflectivity (KATX)
Peak Regional Reflectivity
Winds Aloft at 850mb Heights
Geopotential and Vorticity at 500mb Heights
BONUS!! Left click and open the links below for full animated .gifs of the THREE regional Reflectivity Loops. Yes, THREE. Whereas NCAR does not archive the Langley Hill radar College of DuPage does. Not only that, but that is where the .gif downloads are from. Sweet, sweet, sweet!
I spent the weekend in the field, hence no weekend updates.
However, even with the great conditions migration levels were moderate with a few heavy pulses at best. I put peak radar returns in today’s gallery.
It looks like we’re winding this season down. Surely the neo-trops are long gone and we are now just waiting on the winter residents to complete the season. I usually wait for the first Bufflehead to show up before i close the fall season. But: another couple of days with a low trough draped over the region, only a hint of a ridge 48 hrs out, and modest returns over the weekend with ideal conditions — i’m closing this season early. I will continue to review the radar and if anything noteworthy pops up i’ll put that up.
But barring that — that’s all folks! Circumstances allowing, i’ll be back in the spring. Hopefully with a fix for the lost animated radar loops.
As forecasted the ridge moved in and winds are out of the north. Clear skies for most of the evening. We had heavy migration throughout the region. From Vancouver Island to Eugene the skies were jammed with birds.
Looks like we have 36 to 60 hours of this ridge before it starts to break down and be replaced. That far out, it’s tough to tell what will replace it, but it looks like another low will be dipping down out of the Gulf of Alaska – we’ll see. But until then, the next couple of days should be marvelous migrating and birding conditions. Here comes our ducks (real ones that don’t have swooshes plastered all over them)!
A better flight than i expected last night. Upper level winds were favorable and there was enough room between the storm cells for moderate levels of migration to take place. To our north the migration was even heavy at times. The Puget Sound was filled with birds as was the Washington coast. Too bad it’s only Thursday as some of us have to work. The next few days should be really great birding.
A note on these links: The regional level loops will break in a few days, NCAR does not archive the images past that. Paul’s loop will remain in perpetuity — he’s like that. The forecast links are dynamic and constantly updated. That is; if you go to past posts and follow those links, they will look just like today’s link. It sucks for archival information, but until i can recode my scripts it’s the best i can do for now. I’ve poked around and it looks like Python might be another avenue. I’ll see what i can do between seasons to hack around in yet another programming language.
With the winds easing up, but still out of the south, and the skies clearing, we had a moderate amount of birds in the air last night. Surface winds are not as influential as the winds aloft on migrating birds, and those winds are actually out of the north as this weak ridge advances.
It looks like we have one more low to get through before we get better conditions – maybe 48 hours out or so. I suspect the flight tonight will be a bit subdued but Thursday and Friday could be quite significant – depends on how many birds are left in the pipeline.
After being bottled up for a few days a moderate amount of birds picked their way through the squalls even if it was into a head wind. Probably strong fliers like geese and ducks. It is hard to see in a static image so you’ll have to watch the loops carefully to see the flight.
There was an early flight along the Washington coast and a late flight across the Strait and down the Hood Canal as well. Again a static image just wont do because there is still a lot of rain in the region. So, check out the regional composite and watch closely.
The weather forecast from yesterday held and the birds had ample opportunity to ride the favorable conditions south — and they did. Another night of heavy migration across the Pacific Northwest. It was cut a bit short along the Olympic Peninsula as a set of squalls came ashore.
Looking at the geopotential forecast we probably have another 12 to 24 hours left before the ridge breaks down and winds will be shifting. Looks like they will be coming out of the west at first (good sea watch weather) before the low dips a bit further south and starts throwing southwest winds, and some rain, at the migrants.
Wow! Heaviest migration of the season took place last night over the Pacific Northwest.
Being hampered for a few days with less than ideal conditions, and time to take on fuel, migrants took advantage of the ideal conditions last night. Calm clear skies with a hint of wind out of the north, the birds were on the move.
Looking at the geopotential forecast we may get another 24 to 36 hours of these conditions. So, our diurnal migrants will be on the move today and we might get another heavy flight tonight. Eyes to the skies. Birds are on the move.