Although some portions of the Western US will see light and scattered migration by the middle or end of this week (e.g. the Desert Southwest), this week’s weather is dominated by the passage of Winter Storm Saturn across the Central and Eastern US and mostly unfavorable migration conditions. The animation below shows a morning and evening forecast for winds and precipitation. Note that southerly flow forecast for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights across portions of the Desert Southwest and Great Plains and Eastern Rockies, gradually moving east by the end of the weekend, may facilitate early migrants, appearing as light and scattered movements on radar in these areas. Also note the combined effects of Saturn’s passage and high pressure over Greenland, creating much easterly and northeasterly flow across the Northeastern US and Atlantic Maritime Canada (see this story for more details).
Species to watch: We mentioned previously that early migrants in February and March should include waterfowl and a suite of early passerines. In areas that experience light migration this week, particularly in the Great Plains, some of the migrants to watch for include geese and swans, ducks, American White Pelican, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, American Kestrel, Killdeer, American Woodcock, Belted Kingfisher, Tree Swallow, Brown Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, sparrows (e.g. Song, Fox, White-throated Sparrows) and blackbirds. Early trans-Gulf migrant passerines may appear this week along the Gulf Coast, although more likely will be early arrivals by the end of the weekend and the beginning of next week (10-12 March). These arrivals may include Northern Parula and Prothonotary Warbler, particularly along the Gulf Coast from South Texas north and East through the Florida Panhandle.