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Forecast for NJ World Series of Birding, 5-14-16?


Pellice
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As you may or may not know,  Saturday, May 14,  is the World Series of Birding throughout New Jersey, but finishing up in Cape May. Teams from all over compete to report the most number of species observed in a 24 hour period, with the donations going to conservation.  Record years top 220 species - but it's all dependent on the weather!  Last year's miserable spring resulted in one of the worst Series days ever, so it HAS to be better this year, right?  Right?  Desirable weather for this event is a fairly clear overnight with light southwest winds, rain to the north of NJ (forcing the many species that migrate at night to land here) and a band of not-too-heavy rainshowers moving across the state around dawn, followed by a mostly clear, warm, but not hot, day.  Fog in the north or on the coast is not good.  Too much wind is not good either, as the smaller species won't migrate, and the noise impedes hearing birdsong.  But, some small increase in wind in the afternoon from the southwest is good, as the larger hawks take advantage of it to start soaring.  

 

Earlier in the week the forecast looked great, It's been getting worse, but it still may be good IF the northwest winds kick in well after midnight.

 

Any suggestions for how to play the weather for this event?  Will south Jersey's weather forecast be noticeably different from north Jersey's?  Will there be rain in Delaware and south Pennsylvania that will put the birds down there?

 

Would love to pass along some hints to the contestants.

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ARW (this 5pm Saturday image is from e-wall site) and NSSL WRF (google search will get you there) are better when it comes to convection.  This Friday band of showers looks like it should move through without much tonight in way of winds with the stronger cold frontal passage late in the day on Saturday.

 

post-27-0-44636800-1463163286.gif

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The discussion from the Mt Holly NWS is a good starting point. Here is an excerpt covering tonight and tomorrow. 

 

Tonight..becomes clear and calm with the UPS Crossover smart
tool used to generate fog after midnight, mainly after midnight

and mainly countryside. the fcst was a 50 50 blend of the 12z/13
gfs/nam mos. lows near or slightly above normal but cooler than
the values of early today.

&&

.SHORT TERM /6 AM SATURDAY MORNING THROUGH 6 PM SATURDAY/...
Saturday...A stronger cold front will move across the area late in
the day. a mostly sunny gusty warmer southwest flow to 25 mph precedes
the cold front during midday and used the warmer nam (bl temp
fcst of 21c). Could see temps running up into the upper 70s along
I-95...a degree or 2 warmer than even the fcst which already has raised
the warmest mos guidance by a deg or two - applying a perceived
sunny sw wind mos cool bias. A narrow 1 hr wide band of showers
and possible tstms moves across the area, possibly accompanied by
westerly wind gusts to 40 or 45 mph and small hail.

Jet dynamics aloft could help enhance the possibility for some
moderate to heavy rainfall with any showers/thunderstorms.

 

http://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=NWS&issuedby=PHI&product=AFD&format=CI&version=1&glossary=1&highlight=off

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Thanks for these responses!  I experienced an historic "fallout" of migrating songbirds at Sandy Hook on last Sunday, May 8.  Conditions were just about right - a band of showers moved across around 7 am, and many thousands of birds that were migrating high up came down to take shelter in the tree cover at the Hook.  Every tree was crawling with birds.  Most "re-oriented" themselves and moved back west to the mainland as soon as they could.  Such weather conditions are uncommon, but with the modern tools now available, it's easier to "see" them.  (In fact, big migration flights are clearly visible on weather radar, but the trick is to figure out whether they landed or not, or just kept on going north. That's where the showers at dawn come in, bringing birds to ground).  Weather and birds is a really hot research topic now.

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