Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | September 21, 2011 @ 5:16 pm

Birding Forecast 9/23 – 9/27

surface satellite image

Here is your birding forecast for this weekend and into next week. We will split the state into three parts as the forecast will be different for the two ends of the peninsula and the southernmost portion of the state.

If you are north of St. Pete here is your birding forecast.

Currently a broad low-amplitude upper level trough continues to abridge over the southeast. This will result in a pattern change from the last few days. Behind this trough there is an upper level low which is embedded within a broader trough currently located over Alabama. The upper level trough should push an attending cold front into the panhandle sometime Friday and eventually sag into north central FL. A deep layered southwest flow should elevate the chance for significant precipitation which may bring down birds. Moving into the weekend the front may weaken and stall over the central peninsula just north of Lake O. By Monday the aforementioned front may wash out and retreat back NE. So it looks as if the best days for birding north of the central peninsula will be Thursday through Saturday. Look out for rain over the course of the night which can potentially concentrate birds at migrant traps or along the coast.

Now for the second part of our birding forecast which encompasses St. Pete south to the West Palm Beach.

A sub-tropical ridge of high pressure remains in place over the southeastern Atlantic and north into the Mid-Atlantic States. This high pressure will maintain an easterly to southeasterly surface flow prevalent over much of FL. Conditions as such usually kill a nocturnal flight for the most part. This pattern is expected to remain over the region for the next 24 hours driving late night and morning showers along the coast and then concentrating moisture into the interior by the afternoon. What this means is that if birds were on the move you would look for concentrations of birds in the morning along the east coast where rain would be more likely during the late night into the morning hours. This ridge will move southeast as a short wave trough will drop south, giving us a much-needed shift in surface winds. This will shift the steering flow from the south-southeast to the southwest to west sometime on Friday. These winds are vital in bringing down birds that have elected a trans-gulf migration. As birds head out over the Gulf via the panhandle they should meet head winds and unstable conditions which may bring in many migrants into migrant traps along the west coast of the state such as the famed Fort DeSoto.

As all this is taking place as a frontal boundary moves south towards the state. As the front continues to move SE, deep moisture will be drawn north from the Caribbean ahead of the front. This moisture drawn up from the Caribbean should increase our chances of seeing migrants on the ground as the rain usually halts migrants in their tracks. The aforementioned frontal boundary should move south into north FL by early next week, elevating chances of rain and migrants on the ground. So there you have it, birders from St. Pete to West Palm Beach go out looking for birds on Saturday and Sunday. With the front moving down into N. FL by next week we expect the early to middle part of next week to be exceptional.

Here goes nothing…Miami to the FL Keys birding forecast for late this week into next week.

This ridge is not helping any of us down here in paradise. Expect winds to continue to be out of the E to ESE as the ridge extends SW into the state today. This pattern will keep most of the afternoon convection across the interior portions of Miami and the greater Everglades. The upper to mid-level low will drop south in the next few days. Ahead of the low we expect the deep tropical moisture being dragged north to drop substantial rain over us starting this evening. Late Friday into Saturday this deep moisture moves off to the SE allowing for the wind shift we need. A SW flow will prevail, which should be great for birding on Saturday but even better on Sunday. This SW flow will also drive diurnal convection to the east coast only increasing the chances of precipitation over the east coast for most of the day. A weak cold front that was forecast to stall over central FL early next may just make it all the way past S. FL If the models are correct we may wake up to cooler temps on Monday. A stable air mass will also move in with this front by Tuesday allowing for some nice weather for the mid-week. Birding looks to be best on Sunday and Monday.

So there you have it, a birding forecast of sorts for the entire state. Hope you all enjoy the forecast and please pass by and share your sightings with us. Your sightings are vital to the improvement of this website and the future of radar ornithology.

We look forward to reading all of your wonderful sightings, don’t less us down 🙂

Nature is Awesome
Angel & Mariel


  1. […] Passerines were missing in action today. We will continue monitoring their migration through radar via Badbirdz. Check out the very nice post by the NatureIsAwesome duo on birding forecast for the coming weekend. […]


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