After a rather lackluster September for migration in these parts, things are finally starting to kick into gear as we hit mid-October. Sound familiar? This is very similar to what happened last year. Classic cold fronts were lacking until this time last year, then rolled through with regularity for much of the rest of the fall.
Often these cold fronts are preceded by periods of southwest winds and warm weather. I tend to look for this pattern especially from mid-Oct into early Dec because it can be associated with central/western vagrants. Cave Swallow is the hallmark species here, as they ride the SW winds ahead of front towards the Great Lakes region, then get pushed to the coast when the winds shift to the NW.
As you can see above, we do have winds pumping from Texas up through the Great Lakes. This will not be a particularly prolonged event, the winds are not terribly strong, and there is no associated strong low pressure system. So I'm not getting too excited. But it's worth sticking this in the back of your mind. Even if the setup were more impressive, we are still a bit early for things like Cave Swallow and Ash-throated Flycatcher. There have been a few central/western birds being found sporadically over the past few weeks (a few Bell's Vireos have been seen, for example), so perhaps more will follow.