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03/07/08
Cuba to Florida Radar
Filed under: General, Birding & Outdoors, Florida & SE US
Posted by: Ken @ 2:48 pm

Yesterday we had a fairly strong front come down from the north, but it stalled and retreated as a warm front. The winds shifted to steady southerlies, the rain stopped and the skies began to clear. I thought this might create good conditions for north-bound migrants, so, before retiring, I checked the Key West radar.

This is what I saw, a little before 10 PM:

Though I am not an expert at interpreting the echoes, there appear to be waves of migrants moving north from the coast of Cuba. They seem to be moving independently of the apparent rain image over to the lower right of the radar scan. However, I will be pleased if a reader more experienced in radar interpretation would evaluate this image.

This is only a real-time screen shot, as I do not yet know how to download from the NWS archives. If we are beginning to witness a migratory exodus, it is a sure bet that BADBIRDZ will be providing us with some dramatic views of future flights this spring. BADBIRDZ may also be accessed via the “FL Migration Radar” link to the left of this page.

One Response to “Cuba to Florida Radar”

  1. Ken J Schneider Says:
    Dad, I would agree with your assessment that the returns moving north from the coast of Cuba is a migrating flock of birds. At first…I suspected cumulus clouds or a sea breeze front…however the reflectivity is horseshoe-shaped at first and then changes shape as it moves closer to the radar site. The returns become stronger as they approach Key West…so there may be cumulus clouds in with the migrating birds.

    That horseshoe-shaped return is definitely indicative of migrating birds and a sea breeze front would be more linear. I do not believe that sea breeze fronts in your area would move south to north. I think that they would move east to west or maybe even west to east. Birds…however…would fly with the wind and it is pretty obvious that the winds are blowing from south to north as evident by the movement of the showers.

     Ken J

    Thanks, Ken– It’s great having a son who is a meteorologist!

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