Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | April 5, 2013 @ 8:19 am

South FL; Stay Dry and Bird

National Overview

Below is a snapshot of the national map with radar and weather fronts. Use this map to get an overall feel of migration and how weather affects nocturnal migration. A cold front continues to push south along the peninsula today. High pressure sets up behind this front bringing stable conditions and pleasant weather.
04_05_13USMAP

Frames are every 1/2 hour. Click on the thumbnail to view the full-sized animation.
Base Reflectivity image from Tampa Bay, FL Base Velocity image from Tampa Bay, FL Base Reflectivity image from Miami, FL Base Velocity image from Miami, FL Base Reflectivity image from Key West, FL Base Velocity image from Key West, FL

Unstable conditions prevail overnight and into the morning hours over the southern half of the state. The continuing risk for damaging winds and the possibility of hail are still in the forecast, but newest forecast turns down the heat and shows a much more stable atmosphere into the daylight hours. The strongest storms have now pushed off to the east, and severe threat appears to have diminished. A strong cold front continues to move through the eastern gulf and down the peninsula. This front should exit the forecast area by late Friday as high pressure takes a hold and puts a halt to unstable conditions.

As far as nocturnal migration goes, moderate movements of birds were recorded flying over the FL Straits and into the FL Keys. Winds shifting ahead of the frontal boundary would push birds to the east, but not a whole lot was flying. Birds could have been flying below radar range or returns that belong to birds were getting mixed in with the rain on radar. The FL Keys look like the best spot to be birding today. Large amounts of precipitation moved over the middle and lower Keys along with shifting wind speeds and direction. It look as if birds that were on the wing were cut off by heavy thunderstorms and slowed by a NW wind as they approached Key West. These types of conditions would put down birds over the lower Keys and we expect to hear positive reports from migrant traps such as Fort Zach and Bahia Honda in addition to small parcels of habitat in KW like Indigenous Park, Key West Botanical, Key West Nature Preserve and Stock Island. In Miami-Dade, coastal migrant traps should be your best bet, but again not much made it to the mainland as they were cut off by the passing storms to our south. Winds should be shifting to a more western fashion by late morning/early afternoon after the front makes its way into the metropolitan area, for now a NNE wind prevails but this will be variable with the approach of the cold front. Overcast conditions will take hold today which makes for a good birding day; birds love the cloud cover and cool conditions. Cloud cover also means that little heat will build up in the atmosphere which inhibits the chances of new threatening storms from developing, so take advantage of this cooler weather and go birding. Another thing to look out for is the chance that cloud cover could influence diurnal movement from birds to our south which could make for better birding this afternoon. Let us know what you see while out today, after all our readers are our boots on the ground!

As always Badbirdz depends on its readers to help us understand the magic of bird migration. We ask our readers to take a minute to email us at badbirdz-reloaded@hotmail.com, post a comment on the site or share what you are seeing on our Facebook page. As a whole the Florida birding community is large and enthusiastic about bird migration, lets join together this year to make Badbirdz an integral part of every birders toolbox. Together we can track and monitor birds and learn more about this phenomenon called MIGRATION!

Nature is Awesome,
Angel and Mariel

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