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Forecasting Bird Migration with Weather Radar and Models

Forecasting Bird Migration with Weather Radar and Models

We at the moment are within the midst of the large fowl migration time of the 12 months and climate radar may help paperwork the large flux of birds overhead.

But much more fascinating, we are able to skillfully predict fowl migration utilizing numerical climate prediction.

One of my favourite websites  to take a look at fowl migration is BirdSolid, run by the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.  I actually admire this group and as an undergrad at Cornell I steadily visited their Sapsucker Woods Wildlife Sanctuary.


One of the fantastic issues they’ve on their web site is real-time fowl migration maps based mostly on the intelligent use of climate radar (see under).  Turns out that climate radar is a really efficient device for monitoring birds, significantly when there’s not a lot precipitation (when the National Weather Radars are in clear air mode).

The map under offers an instance:  a real-time snapshot of fowl migration at 12:50 AM PDT early this (Saturday) morning.  The colours exhibits the depth of fowl migration and the orange arrows present the route of migration (which might be decided from the Doppler climate radar sign!).  Not surprisingly, most birds are shifting northward and the Pacific Northwest is an lively migration route.    The largest migration is from Texas to Wisconsin.  By the way in which, the items of this map is THOUSANDS of fowl per km line per hour.   That is lots of birds!

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1590005657 761 Forecasting Bird Migration with Weather Radar and Models
To affirm the fowl invasion, right here is the composite radar picture the night time earlier than (1:38 AM on May 1st).  Wow.  There was little or no precipitation that night time, so just about all of that is birds. Keep in thoughts that there are main gaps in climate protection (equivalent to east of the Cascade crest).   You be aware lack of echos offshore…our feathered mates favor to remain over land!

1590005658 534 Forecasting Bird Migration with Weather Radar and Models
Our fowl mates favor to fly at night time, and the Cornell migration graphic at 9:40 PM Eastern Time yesterday exhibits this, with the purple line indicating the placement of sundown at the moment.  Very few birds whereas the solar is up (west of the road), numerous birds to the east of the sundown line.

1590005660 170 Forecasting Bird Migration with Weather Radar and Models
But this web site has much more!  It embody forecasts of fowl migration exercise.    Using many years of radar info to supply migration floor reality, they correlated fowl migration exercise with forecat climate parameters (from NWS prediction fashions), day of 12 months, and far more, utilizing a machine studying algorithm. This strategy relies on the work of Van Doren and Horton (Science Magazine, 2018) . To illustrate, right here is the migration prediction for tonight (Saturday-Sunday), which incorporates the quantity of forecast precipitation as properly.
Forecasting Bird Migration with Weather Radar and Models
Less birds tonight..and that has to do with the change within the climate.   This fowl forecast analysis famous above (Van Doren and Horton) discovered the fowl migration correlates greatest with temperature (extra migration with hotter temperatures), with precipitation additionally discouraging our feathered mates.  The robust entrance shifting by right this moment will end in each cooler temperatures and showers.  Thus, our migrating fowl guests will take a properly deserved relaxation this night.

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Finally, I ought to point out that there’s all types of fascinating info in that Van Doren an Horton papers, such because the annual variation in fowl migration over the U.S. based mostly on the climate radar information (see under).  Peak migration is in early-May, with an enormous ramp-up in April…so we’re very close to the height now.  Thus, watching the radar now could be of explicit curiosity for all fowl lovers.
1590005661 317 Forecasting Bird Migration with Weather Radar and ModelsSo in the course of the subsequent gentle night time this month, lookup and picture the hundreds of birds which can be shifting northward above your head.  Kind of reassuring throughout these tough occasions.

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