Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Radar Loop of Liftoff

My friend Kirk Mona has posted a really cool loop of last nights radar as the nocturnal migrants begin to lift off and head north. Just the amount of movement is impressive but if you also look at the geographic area that the movement covers it boggles the mind. You can see the loop here.

A run of several warm days in a row is predicted and that can only mean more good birds by this weekend. If anyone is in the Twin Cities area on Saturday March 21st, the regular monthly bird banding session will be held at the Lowry Nature Center from 8 - noon. Everyone is welcome.


mnwxchaser said...

First off, great blog.

What you are seeing at sundown are inversion layers in the atmosphere as the boundary layer decouples. There is an upgrade being applied to the WSR 88-D's this year which will filter out much of the blue and green clutter which you see expanding out from the radar sites at sundown.

With the dopplers, if the NWS or FAA has it set to "clear air mode", it is possible to see some very large flocks of waterfowl as the radar sensitivity is at it highest...so sensitive it can see dry surface boundaries. I'll get in touch with some of my contacts at the National Weather Service offices in Omaha and Pleasant Hill to see it they have any archived data sets from the Squaw Creek NWR near Mound City, MO.

Not really bird related but I know Todd Shea at the NWS in LaCrosse has some interesting images of mayfly hatches on the Mississippi. Once I get a response from these guys, I'll post the outcomes on my blog.

Minnesota Birdnerd said...

mnwxchaser- Thanks for the comment. I've really just started to delve into this whole radar ornithology stuff but I get absolutely giddy when I can watch what's going on anywhere in North America from my desk.

Ain't technology great?