Thursday, May 1, 2014

May 1st, 2014

Tonight's surface analysis
Hello everyone!

Before we do anything else, welcome to the first 2014 edition IL Migration Report! Here's to discovering great things together. See the introduction/debut post for this year here.

On the surface analysis (see left), we don't see too much in our region except a dry line (boundary between moist and dry air) moving from Northwest. With this, we can expect that we're getting westerly winds right now, but not much else.

On to the wind map (see right). We do indeed see westerly winds aloft, with some variations throughout the state. So migration, overall, will probably be pretty light as winds are by no means favorable. I wish the conditions could be better on my debut night, as I'm not going to delay any longer for pomp and circumstance, but alas, nature is not always cooperative. We birders know that better than most.

Looking at the radar (see left), we find that our predictions are tragically correct--almost no visible migration across the state. No need to break it up regionally for tonight.

But wait...a glimmer of hope beckons on the horizon. Looking now at the 24-hour surface analysis forecast (see right), a low pressure system will be moving in from northwest of us, and based on our position in the midwest, our westerly winds may take on a more southerly tinge, modifying the winds slightly enough to become favorable. Wind forecasts confirm this. As a disclaimer, these are by no means ideal conditions, but Friday afternoon and night may see more migration, mostly likely light to moderate. It is most likely, though, that it will be best in Northern Illinois, with the effects of this system become less perceptible the further south you are.

As I always say, more time with the same birds is more time to study the intricacies of their behavior as they refuel for the next leg of their journey. So get out there! To predict which birds you'll find, see here.

Awesome! Happy birding everyone!

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