Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | April 11, 2013 @ 3:34 pm

Weekend Birding Forecast



Hey all,

Sorry for the inconsistency in posts this week. A recent schedule change has us off our game. This morning we weren’t able to post due to an early morning training that has lasted until midday. We of course want to get the word out about the impending front that is currently working its way across central Mississippi and southeast Louisiana. This is quite a storm! A very moist air mass is present ahead of the front; this is assisting with the strengthening of the squall line associated with the cold front. Expect this line of heavy storms to impact the states western panhandle just after sunset today. This squall line is impressive and supercell development should be expected, straight line winds and a possibility of hail is forecast and is currently the primary hazard for the panhandle. Strong shear values are increasing which means that this storm is intensifying and thunderstorms will likely become more intense as the system slides east.

Panhandle forecast – The western panhandle may be out of the fallout game this time, but look out to the east as the timing of the front is more likely to drop down birds than farther to the west. Looks like it will be the eastern panhandle and maybe the nature coast this weekend. The NW panhandle will likely be left out, the front is speeding up and winds are SE. Birds should be able to easily make landfall east of the front before storms have a chance to put them down. This means that it will likely be good for Dauphin Island in AL and west into LA today. The NW panhandle could however get some West Indian migrants for the weekend considering the SE winds rocking the eastern side of the state ahead of the front.
With the advancement of this front the timing seems to be right on and it could be decent maybe even awesome for St. George Island/Apalachicola/St. Marks area. This may be the spot on the panhandle to be this weekend. A 70% chance of precipitation is forecast for tonight as the front approaches, winds should be out of the S, but shifting WSW by Friday morning, then N in the afternoon hours with a continuing 70% chance or precip. Friday-Saturday should be good. Skies will clear Saturday, but the N winds may put down migrants that will be flying through the stalled front south of the area.

St. Pete/Tampa forecast- You guys could get a bone thrown your way again, but precipitation forecast is iffy. Saturday could be good in St. Pete, but Sunday should be the best day as the front stalls over the I-4 corridor and north of Lake O. North winds will be in place after the front passes through, at the ready to knock down tired migrants. The Tampa forecast is a bit better as SW winds are forecast for Friday, winds will shift W for Saturday with a 50% chance or precip. These winds should push migrants flying just offshore towards the coast just in time for winds to shift out of the north. Lookout for new arrivals on Sunday at coastal and inland migrant traps as this front will stall and birds will have to fly through the front Sunday.

Sanibel forecast- We don’t expect a whole lot to hit this area, but the location could be useful for migrants that choose to land early if they detect the storms to the north. Lookout for new arrivals on Sunday, coastal tried and true migrant traps will likely be your best bet.

Jacksonville forecast- The frontal system will bring elevated chances of precipitation tonight and Friday. Winds will be out of the SW, breezy 10-18 with a 60% chance of precip. Birds should be moving up the coast as winds are forecast S-SE farther down the state. Some of this movement could be brought down by rain overnight and early morning. Tomorrow and Saturday will be your best birding days, tried and true migrant traps should be given a once over to see what came in.

As we work our way south and along the east coast we don’t really expect much in the way of new arrivals. Some birds always trickle out, especially birds traveling from points farther south than Cuba and the Bahamas. There is always a chance that we will get some newbies that have flown the long journey from Jamaica and other West Indies islands.

Either way, stay calm and bird! Have fun this weekend and don’t forget to let us in on your fun, your reports are very much appreciated. Below are two images that show the big change in temps behind and ahead of the front. The first one is a THETA-E (Equivalent Potential Temperature) click on this image for an indepth explanation of the map. The second is a surface temperature meteorological chart that shows the
temperature pattern over the area in the map. Enjoy!

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, 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 & Mariel



  1. You guys ROCK! Thanks for the detailed bird forecasts. Working for myself I can’t bird every day, but I can be flexible with my choice of days. So your forecasts of future days potential allows me to pick my days with some information. Add to that the radars which show what actually happened last night allow me to abort a trip if the birds don’t seem to have followed the plan. Thanks. Good on you.


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