Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April 15th, 2015

Tonight's winds. Click to view live.
Evening folks!

Tonight, high pressure is sending us due easterly winds, a phenomenon that blankets the length of our state. What might migrants be doing in these winds, you ask? Adhering to little in the way of identifiable trends, birds are showing up as sporadic blue noise across the state. While northern and southwestern Illinois radar expose light migration (the densest concentrations of the night), the rest of the state is witness to even lighter movements as well. If you're up and at 'em tonight, take a look at the radar! Watch as sporadic migrations cause shimmering blue ripples over Illinois skies, appearing and disappearing unpredictably in the radar's mosaic of blues, greens, and black. This effect will be especially beautiful to watch in animated radar sources, like this.

Overall, though, tomorrow should show few notable influxes, except perhaps in northern Illinois and southwestern Illinois. Note also that the areas of heaviest migration concentrations may shift as the night goes on. As of now, however, likelihood seems greatest that any influxes will be most notable in the above mentioned areas.
Note the beautiful
mosaic of blue and
black in tonight's

The forecast continues to change before our eyes (see postscript). Where before winds were forecast to be stronger and southerly on Thursday night, no such forecast exists now. Instead, the next few days are forecast to be complicated by slow-moving high pressure. Tomorrow night, as it oozes across the Prairie State, winds will be confused, inconsistent, and overall very weak. It is tough to say whether or not birds will be migrating then; I'll be interested to see. Winds are forecast to get a little more decisive from there, with southerly-based winds predicted for Friday and Saturday nights. The most important thing to keep track of will be the passage of high pressure, and how these systems influence when birds choose to move. I'll be watching with you.

With that, I hereby call this migration report to a close. In case you remain curious about what birds may be around tomorrow, visit our perpetually handy eBird page.

Until tomorrow night, good birding all!


A fascinating juxtaposition. On the left is the current wind forecast for midnight on Thursday, April 16th. On the right is yesterday's forecast for the same time. What does this show us? Meteorology is a field rife with innumerable variables and constant change. It's amazing to think of what we do in analyzing this, and then placing ornithological variables on top!

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