Nexrad RADAR stations-watch nocturnal migration

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Nexrad RADAR stations-watch nocturnal migration

Postby Mike Burrell on Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:24 am

http://www.wunderground.com/radar/map.asp

The stations along the great lakes are fun to watch on good nights (Spring: warm, clear, southerly winds; Fall: cool, clear, northerly winds) for bird migration. Usually heavy migration appears as a globular cluster around the station (as opposed to a blocky structure of actual precipitation.
See
http://www.njaudubon.org/Education/Oases/Radimages.html
for info on interpreting RADAR images.

Note on the NEXRAD site you can click the bar labelled "Advanced Radar Types" on the left of the image and select 0.5 or 1.45 under Base Radial velocity to view the direction and velocity that birds/precip is moving. (see the New Jersey Audubon site on interpreting velocity as well).
Mike Burrell
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http://individual.utoronto.ca/heidelberg/
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Postby Mike Burrell on Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:51 pm

If anyone checks this tonight or early tomorrow morning check out those radar maps. Even on the view of the entire continental US you can see there is a huge migration going on in a fairly narrow band in the central US from Texas right up to Minnesota.

In particular the amount of birds in the air at the Frederick (border of Texas and Oklahoma) station is quite impressive. Using the conversion factor on the New Jersey Audubon site there are likely more than 400 birds per cubic KM of sky going over. If you switch to velocity mode (on the side bar) the birds are flying due north about 36 knots (with a light tailwind). According to a local weather station their is a light (~20km/h) wind from the SE, which means the birds would be flying about 45km/h, which is about right (on the high end) for most songbirds. The winds are probably a little stronger higher up where the birds are flying though, which would mean the actual speeds they are flying at are lower.

There is also some light migration over the Buffalo station. We should probably get some really good nights once we get the warm-up predicted for this week (certainly Wed night, maybe tomorrow night)
Mike Burrell
Heidelberg and Toronto, Ontario
http://individual.utoronto.ca/heidelberg/
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Postby mustap on Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:06 pm

Very cool. Thanks for posting this Mike.
Peeter Musta - mustap.smugmug.com
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