21 May 2014 PNW Migration Update

As the high pressure ridge moves ashore winds are out of the north.  Along the coast they are quite stiff and probably accounts for the paucity of coastal returns on the Gray’s Harbor (KLGX) radar last night.  But inland, the winds are light and the I5 corridor was lit up as the flight north continues.

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

21 May Base Reflectivity - Portland (KRTX)

21 May Base Reflectivity – Gray’s Harbor (KLGX)

21 May Base Reflectivity - Seattle (KATX)

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

21 May Earth: WPD at 850 mb

Here is Paul’s archived National Radar Composite from yesterday. Look at the wind map, and then the radar.

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

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20 May 2014 PNW Migration Update

Birds are still moving north.  Winds, with a northerly predilection, are exceedingly light, and pose no real barrier.  Migration season is getting a little long in the tooth here.  It’s not over by any means.  There’s still thousands of laggards to move through, but most of the vanguards have passed through or are settling down. Let’s take a look at the radar and marvel at the wonder of it all.

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

20 May Base Reflectivity - Portland (KRTX)

20 May Base Reflectivity – Gray’s Harbor (KLGX)

20 May Base Reflectivity - Seattle (KATX)

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

20 May Earth: WPD at 850 mb

Here is Paul’s archived National Radar Composite from yesterday. Look at the wind map, and then the radar.

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

15 May 2014 PNW Migration Update

As the ridge slides off to the east and a new low begins to move in – there be tail winds.  And the birds are taking full advantage of the opportunity.  “Green Doughnuts” all around.  The Pacific Flyway is lit up from San Diego to Seattle.  If you only look at one radar loop today make it Gray’s Harbor (KLGX) and watch a large, organize flock move up out of Oregon, move along the coast and head out to sea bound for Vancouver Island or possibly even Alaska.

Seattle (KATX) is back on line.

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

15 May Base Reflectivity - Portland (KRTX)

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

15 May Base Reflectivity - Seattle (KATX)

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

15 May Earth: WPD at 850 mb

Here is Paul’s archived National Radar Composite from yesterday. Look at the wind map, and then the radar.

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

14 May 2014 PNW Migration Update

Light variable winds, clear skies and a biological demand to head north.  That’s a great stage for the drama of migration to unfold.  Sit back, relax and enjoy the show.  With the full moon it’s a great time to do some moon watching.

(KATX – Seattle radar is still off line.)

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

14 May Base Reflectivity - Portland (KRTX)

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

14 May  Base Reflectivity - Medford (KMAX)

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

14 May Earth: WPD at 850 mb

Here is Paul’s archived National Radar Composite from yesterday. Look at the wind map, and then the radar.

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

13 May 2014 PNW Migration Update

The high pressure ridge remains in place.  The winds are light and a bit variable.  Birds are seriously on the move.  Maybe this push will bring those Willow Flies.

KATX is still down: “Message Date:  May 12 2014 14:29:23
THE CAMANO ISLAND RADAR KATX IS EXPECTED TO REMAIN OUT OF SERVICE THROUGH MOST OF TUESDAY. PARTS ARE ON ORDER AND ARE EXPECTED TO ARRIVE TUESDAY.”

We’ll look at Medford (KMAX) in today’s loops.  It’s jamming again.

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

13 May Base Reflectivity - Portland (KRTX)

13 May Base Reflectivity – Gray’s Harbor (KLGX)

13 May  Base Reflectivity - Medford (KMAX)

Today I’m putting the wind map from Earth and a screen grab from the National Composite in the gallery view along with the weather maps. Migration and weather explained in just a couple of pictures. Well, not explained. Perhaps illustrated is a better word.

12 May PNW Migration Update

The high pressure ridge proved a bit more tenacious than i had anticipated.  I took a quick peak at the radar on Sunday morning.  Migration was a happening event at moderate to heavy levels across the region.  And last night, even with less than ideal wind conditions, birds were heavily on the move again.

The radar in Seattle (KATX) is down.  The operators didn’t leave a message on the NOAA hot line so i’m not sure of the future status.  So, we’ll take a look to the south today and put up a loop for Medford (KMAX).  Mainly because the heavy migration through there last night was about as good as it gets in that area.  Yea!  more birds on the way.

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

12 May Base Reflectivity - Portland (KRTX)

12 May Base Reflectivity – Gray’s Harbor (KLGX)

12 May  Base Reflectivity - Medford (KMAX)

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

12 May Earth: WPD at 850 mb

Here is Paul’s archived National Radar Composite from yesterday. Look at the wind map, and then the radar.

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

08 May 2014 PNW Migration Update

An advancing low out of the Gulf of Alaska is well organized and pushing some big winds out of the SSW.  Which can only mean one thing for feathered migrants: time to boogie!  “Green Doughnuts” all around – birds are on the move in heavy migration.  Vanguards are being replaced by the bulk of the advance.  This push should bring the first reports of Willow Flycatchers and a better showing of Swainson’s Thrush.

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

08 May Base Reflectivity - Portland (KRTX)

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

08 May Base Reflectivity - Seattle (KATX)

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

08 May Earth: WPD at 850 mb

Here is Paul’s archived National Radar Composite from yesterday. Look at the wind map, and then the radar. Again – one look at the Earth Wind map and you just know the Central and Mississippi Flyways are going to be jammed with birds. Wholesale bird soup.

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

07 May 2014 PNW Migration Update

The ridge of high pressure remains in place.  So do the light NNW winds.  We had decent turnover last night at a moderate pace.

It seems, seems mind you, that Swainson’s Thrush are being reported.  These are vanguard birds with the bulk of them still on their way.  Willow Flycatchers, Red-eyed Vireos, never an abundant species in the PNW, and Common Nighthawks, the last migrant to arrive, are the only neotrops left to be reported.  Western Wood Pewees showed up a couple of days ago.

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

07 May Base Reflectivity - Portland (KRTX)

07 May Base Reflectivity – Gray’s Harbor (KLGX)

07 May Base Reflectivity - Seattle (KATX)

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

07 May Earth: WPD at 850 mb

Here is Paul’s archived National Radar Composite from yesterday. Look at the wind map, and then the radar. One look at the Earth Wind map and you just know the Central and Mississippi Flyways are going to be jammed with birds.

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

06 May 2014 PNW Migration Update

As a weak high pressure ridge squeezes in between well organized lows were getting NNW winds.  But not particularly strong.  Just enough to put a damper on full blown flight.  So, the region saw moderate but sustained movement throughout the night.

Before we take a look at the loops and maps, here is an item anyone looking at this blog would be interested in.  One of the Pacific Northwest’s birding luminaries, David Irons, has put together an excellent narrative: A Spring Migration Phenology for Western Oregon.
David obviously put a lot of time into this work.  It’s well done and worth the read.

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

06 May Base Reflectivity - Portland (KRTX)

06 May Base Reflectivity – Gray’s Harbor (KLGX)

06 May Base Reflectivity - Seattle (KATX)

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

06 May Earth: WPD at 850 mb

Here is Paul’s archived National Radar Composite from yesterday. Look at the wind map, and then the radar. All will be revealed.

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

02 May 2014 PNW Migration Update

There is a set of perfect conditions in place.  The high pressure ridge is sliding off to the east and a well organized low is just off shore.  At the interface are clear skies and strong south winds.  Migrants are making bank tonight.

In town are: Warbling Vireos, Yellow-breasted Chats, Western Tanagers, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Purple Martins — oh my, it’s like a candy shop out there.  I haven’t checked the listserves yet this morning, but Lazuli’s can’t be far behind.   Swainson’s Thrush are just around the bend as well, possible vanguards have already been reported.  I can already hear the “Wheee Eeer” and “Fitz Bweh” of Pewee’s and Willow  Flies in chambers of my mind.

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

02 May Base Reflectivity - Portland (KRTX)

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

02 May Base Reflectivity - Seattle (KATX)

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

02 May Earth: WPD at 850 mb

Here is Paul’s archived National Radar Composite from yesterday. Look at the wind map, and then the radar. All will be revealed.

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

Next update is planned for Monday, 05 May.

“birds are coming, look busy” – D.L.