Tuesday, September 28, 2010

An interesting storm track

Anytime a tropical system so much as brushes us, no matter how weak, it is reason to be alert for birds that may be displaced or grounded by the storm. For example, Tropical Depression 16 currently lies south of Cuba. It may become a minimal Tropical Storm (Nicole) and is currently forecast to ride up the East Coast, possibly passing just to our west as a weak extratropical low.

Sure, the intensity of this storm is not impressive, and it is very disorganized. But its track is interesting: currently in the Caribbean Sea, forecast to clip southeast Florida, enter the Gulf Stream, and continue up the East Coast. Also, we may be on the east side (AKA the "good" side) of this one.

That being said, this one will likely be too weak to provide any excitement this far north. But let's not ignore it. While we won't be talking about Sooty Terns or Tropicbirds or anything like that, we could see a re-appearance of more southern terns (Royal, Sandwich, Skimmers etc) along the coast, or more migrant shorebirds grounded inland. Hey, still enough to make birding worthwhile. At the very least it should contribute to blocking weather, setting up for a potentially large migrant event when it clears for the weekend.

Since bird movements are so closely tied to weather in general, any particularly strong or uncommon weather phenomenon should be monitored closely by birders. This storm would fall into that category, subcategory 'unusual track.'

- NB

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