Regional Migration Forecast: 30 October – 6 November 2015
Andrew FarnsworthThe Cornell LabOct 30, 2015
Hooded Merganser, Ryan Schain
Favorable conditions from the weekend through early week in the West will see light to locally moderate flights of Canada Goose, Common Merganser, Ring-billed Gull, Short-eared Owl, Marsh Wren, and Golden-crowned Sparrow, while a moderate to heavy pulse Friday along the Atlantic coast and along the Canadian border on Wednesday and Thursday nights will feature Snow Goose, Tundra Swan, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, American Pipit, Common Redpoll, and assorted western goodies.
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Arrows show wind speed and direction (arrow points in the direction to which wind is blowing) 100 m above ground level. Areas with southerly winds are colored red; northerly winds colored blue. Accumulated precipitation (in 6 hour intervals) is green, outlined by white. Broadly speaking, areas of the map in blue will experience conditions that are favorable for migration, and areas where blue and green (and red and blue) intersect and overlap may experience migrant concentrations and fallouts as migrants interact with precipitation.
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Moderate to heavy flights come to many areas east of the Appalachians on Friday night, before most of the region gets rather quiet in the face of an approaching period of warmer air from the southwest. Southwesterly flow is forecast to prevail for much of the week, making conditions for nocturnal migration unfavorable; movements will be mostly light to locally moderate. This southwesterly flow may be the harbinger, however, of later season western vagrants typical in such flow, such as Franklin’s Gull, Cave Swallow, Ash-throated Flycatcher, among other species. Not until the end of the period does the region see favorable conditions for nocturnal flights, and these will be restricted again to coastal reaches primarily from New York north through New England and also in the Mississippi River valley (where another frontal boundary will be passing). Note that some nights during the period may see larger flights if winds aloft are lighter than forecast.
Mostly unfavorable conditions for migration are forecast across the region for this period. Although local moderate to heavy flights will occur Friday night in the southeastern coastal Plains, Sunday night in Texas, and late in the period back in the southeastern coastal plain, much of the region will experience southerly flow that will not be conducive to much movement at night. Additionally, several areas of precipitation are forecast during the period, further dampening the intensities and extents of any flights.
The nights of moderate to heavy flights will be few and far between this period, with such intensities restricted to local movements primarily on Saturday and then again mid week. The first region wide extents of migration will not occur until the very end of the period, when the passage of a strong frontal boundary will set the stage for the fall’s last major and diverse migration event in the region.
Favorable conditions become increasingly rare over the first half of the forecast period, as light to locally moderate flights become similarly rare. Most movements will be restricted to the Desert Southwest on the weekend, with a slow period to follow as southerly winds and scattered precipitation spread into the mountainous west. By Tuesday and Wednesday a new area of favorable conditions builds into the region west of the Rockies, where light to locally moderate migration will return. These conditions persist locally in the Desert Southwest and in California to end the period, where localized flights will also persist.