Friday, May 15, 2015

May 15th, 2015 ~ Expanded Report on May 14th - 18th

Migration from midnight,
May 14th
First of all, a little housekeeping. I'd like first to apologize for the absence of a report last night. As predicted, there actually was a decent amount of migration. Given the predominant southerly winds, birds were moving mostly at moderate concentrations. While the tailwinds were there, they were likely a little too strong for some birds. Moderate concentrations were most found in Southern Illinois; migration lightened out as you look northward, with the lightest movements in precipitation-disturbed Northern Illinois.This morning, then, it was unsurprising to read of some arrivals and influxes, though no spectacular movements were reported. 

Winds tonight. Click im-
age to view live
Migration tonight. Cl-
ick image to view live
Let's move on to tonight, then. Southerly winds remain dominant in most of the Prairie State tonight, but a high-pressure-drive cold front is preventing their total dominance. This cold front is currently sitting over part of Northern Illinois, and as such, anywhere north of it is experiencing extremely diffuse winds. Failing to provide a legitimate headwind, this front is doing very little to prevent migration. So, moderate movements are again the rule throughout the state. While migration may get a little heavier as the night progresses, this is probably as intense as it will get. Expect moderate, not spectacular, arrivals and influxes tomorrow morning. 

From here, I'll have to do an especially detailed job of forecasting tonight, as I will be unable to report for the next three days. Let's dive in:

On Saturday, what could be called "Goldilocks winds" are forecast to return: they're just right. Winds are forecast to be southerly throughout the state, and will not be as prohibitively strong as they were on Thursday. With such conditions as these, heavy concentrations of migration are likely. Sunday morning, then, should be an exciting time to get out there and bird.
Winds forecast for midnight, May 16th. Click image to view live.

On Sunday, winds are forecast to remain favorable southerly. While they are forecast to get a little stronger, reaching ~46 mi/hr in some places aloft, it is likely that birds will still be moving in moderate to heavy concentrations. Note that a low-pressure driven front is forecast to enter the state on the day Monday. Looking ahead more than a day, though, the wind forecast is absolutely subject to change. If this change does occur, it is likely that it will involved this front entering the state with unfavorable winds earlier than expected. Regardless, this front will only hinder migration in the northwestern portion of the state, so Sunday night should be favorable in most parts of the state.
Winds forecast for midnight, May 17th. Click image to view live.

By Monday at 7 PM, winds are forecast to be northwesterly throughout the state, conditions that may not be conducive to migration. By midnight, winds are set to be even more northerly and even stronger. SO, while some birds may fight to winds, it appears that Tuesday morning will not show evidence of much movement.
Winds forecast for midnight, May 18th. Click image to view live.

That's that about that, folks. As always, I encourage you to predict what birds you'll find for yourself! For my 3-day hiatus, this eBird Page will remain useful. Even more useful may be the latest BirdCast National Migration Forecast, which predicts species peaks, arrivals, and exits through next Friday.

That's all for the next three days! I'll be back to finish May (and Spring Migration) strong for 2015. Here's looking forward to that.

Good birding, all!

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