Thursday, May 5, 2016

PEAK of May Birding Forecast

No one has any idea... NONE! But i'll guess anyways....


We've been under the influence of a number of short wave troughs, semi-regular blocking patterns, an upper low to our NE and even some cutoff-looking lows... It's chaos in the weather world - and not totally in the "good" kinda way. Each small feature influences all of the other small features around it - and therefore affects how subsequent features in the days to come will be affecting or affected by all of the other small features... This is why the forecast is always changing and each model run is different from the next. Slight variations in the timing, intensity, direction etc have a compounding effect on the events that follow. Crazy!

Above and below - same time - GFS vs Euro.. One says "yeah, it'll be warm and good for migraiton" - the other says "yeah, it'll probably be a pretty cold morning. Good luck" 

The common theme with these model runs seems to be regular intrusions of cold air into the southern Great Lakes... So here's my birding guess:

--- Any day now, we're going to see an influx of migrants that contains the more "northerly" breeders. In spring, they want to go north... I'm a bit worried that large numbers of boreal breeding songbirds will take a more "westerly" route - away from Lake Erie - and we'll "miss" a lot of birds - but some will still fly overhead...

--- When they finally arrive, if they hit regular waves of cool/cold air and precip - they'll be grounded... Hopefully on the right side of the Lake (hard to say though, recent waves seem to be pushing them back to Ohio)...

--- Sporadic warm air seems to *not* be coming in from the due south so far - but more of a WSW to W flow. What does this mean? Well normally I'd expect to see birds coming from SE Texas or the gulf coast - even the SE states - when warm blasts come racing in.... With a WSW to W direction - maybe we'll get some vagrants from places we aren't used to seeing as often? The "vagrant weather" doesn't look amazing in the model runs, but it does only take "one bird" as they say... And I perhaps this is how it will play out, as we've clearly seen a few vagrants in Ontario already this spring that are are NOT used to hearing about...

6-10 day temp forecast/guess

8-14 day temp forecast/guess

SO, in summary:

I'm hoping/guessing there will be several very enjoyable days of birding - with decent drops of migrants, perhaps many low and close if the weather gets cool - and an ever changing/roller coaster ride of weather that should keep things fresh on a daily basis - and hopefully with a few fun vagrants mixed in to keep us on our toes. My hopes are high for a very fun few weeks of May birding!!!

(and we'll see how the later-in-May weather is looking in 7-10 days as we get closer to that time)

8-14 day rain forecast (looks very similar to the 6-10 day)... Not what we normally see this time of year.. Freakin El nino. 

Oh - and for the record - the models/forecasts are saying SATURDAY and TUESDAY could be the next migration waves/pulses/surges (!!!)


  1. "Oh - and for the record - the models/forecasts are saying SATURDAY and TUESDAY could be the next migration waves/pulses/surges (!!!)" .... hope so! I will be at Pelee both days :)

  2. If you had to guess what it will be like a week from todat at Pelee, hows it looking?