A front is making its way east along the panhandle and will continue its path to the SE in the days to come. The front moved into the panhandle with stiff winds and lots of precipitation aboard. Reports came in late Wednesday of 17+ inches of rain in the western panhandle and loads of birds along with the bad weather. Winds over the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) and south into the Caribbean Sea (CS) are forecast to keep the pipeline of migrants flowing for a few more days. Weather will be the main steering factor and with some luck the birds will make it past the front before being cutoff. If migrants run into the frontal boundary halfway through the journey they will meet some serious opposition in the way of winds. As of right now it seems as if migrant traps along the Nature Coast south to the Bay Area could be the place to be. West winds associated with this front may well be in place 150 nautical miles south into the GOM, essentially vectoring birds towards the east. Upper level winds @ 3,000ft should also direct migrants towards the Nature Coast and the Bay Area.
Below are GFS Model Forecast that paint an interesting picture for the next few days. Note wind direction ahead and behind the frontal boundary.
Let us know what you find tomorrow and Friday, keep some notes on weather conditions (wind direction/speed, current conditions and location) or any other significant factors that may have affected migration where you birded.
Enjoy the birding y’all!
Nature is Awesome
Angel & Mariel