Friday, October 16, 2015
Quiz Answers - Broad Scale Weather Pattern (musings)
Thanks for those who played along with the quiz! I think in some manner or another, all birds were correctly identified... With that said, I think this was tougher than expected for most?
1. Rock Pigeon
2. Sharp-shinned Hawk & Great Black-backed Gull
3. Common Terns (that highest one does look FOTE-like in the photo)
4. Sharp-shinned Hawk
5. Double-crested Cormorant
6. Black Saddlebags
7. Scarlet Tanager
8. American Pipit
9. Eastern Wood-Pewee
10. White-winged Scoter.
Expect the next quiz at a an irregular point in the future!
(I like weather)... But this may not be good news. I'll try to keep this short and to the point...
We are currently engulfed in a strong el nino:
Generally... Generally... El nino does not affect our day to day weather in the Great Lakes. We are a LONG ways away from the Pacific... BUT - it does have some implication on the broad scale flow of air - and the tracks our storms tend to follow in fall winter.
A big part of this discussion/idea (about to happen) is the SPLIT in the pacific jet. Storms are going to follow that flow of air, which currently means either north of us, or well to the south...
Recently, i've been noticing that the stronger systems are tracking N over Lake Superior and rapidly towards James Bay/Quebec. The last one to do so was a monster:
So what does it have to do with rare-bird-birding?
I've noticed that "el nino falls" in the OBRC database are pretty dull, And I have a theory why. If El nino tends to enhance this "split jet" over North America, and pushes storms away from southern Ontario - then (on average) there will be less *good* days for vagrants to be blown our way.
This recent pattern (of passing over Lake Superior) seems to favour the northernwestern parts of the Great Lakes than the south. Case in point? Whitefish Point Bird Observatory has had Common Ground Dove, 4 Western Kingbirds, Townsend Solitaire, Lark Bunting, Dickciseel, Harris's Sparrows, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Arctic Tern and 2 Pacific Loons SO FAR THIS FALL...
So what does it mean? - Well I think the vagrant hunting may be a bit boring?
Small scale weather (eg,/ one storm) can totally buck the trend - making for some very exciting birding... I am just not expecting things to be gangbusters for the next 6-8 weeks...
Quick edit - I also just wanted to point out how many people are blogging regularly these days. It's pretty awesome! (especially when you're stuck at work).