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Bald Eagle

Weather Forecast for the Birds
Weekly Weather Brief for Migrating Eagles

The Weather Channel
Forecast for Thursday, February 12, 1998

Produced by
U.S. Satellite Laboratory
Tarrytown, NY
Technology for Remote Sensing in Schools

Glen Schuster, Meteorologist
Josh Danziger, Student Meteorologist

A series of storms should move in to the Pacific northwest during this week of Valentine's Day. This is a sure sign of El Nino.

In an El Nino year, we expect strong rain storms and floods along the Pacific Coast. The very high tempertaures of the waters in the Eastern Pacific are the indirect cause of the storms. When the warm waters evaporate into the atmosphere, thunderstorms develop. The storms are steered further north, along with the jet stream, and everyone--including our eagles--has to get ready for rain.

There seems to be no real possibilities of thermal action because the sun should not shine much where the birds are located much of the week. The temperatures will also be running around normal for most of the week. The conditions look pretty dreary. But there should be a day or two this week where the storms let up. Could the weather on those days support an eagle trying to get an early start north? We will just have to wait and see.
The nor'easter predicted for last week hit the entire state of New York
hard. The storm hit with a fury leaving heavy rain in its wake. The wind
spun counterclockwise around the circulation (LOW pressure center). The
worst of the storm struck on Thursday leaving the skies mostly cloudy until
late Friday. From Friday into Saturday, high winds were still plaguing our
area. If you guessed that the entire Northeast would experience a biting
Northerly wind, then you are correct. With cloudy skies and winds coming
out of the North, do you think that the eagles might have had a real
opportunity to move much, or even at all?

The direction of the wind can play an important role in the movement of
bald eagles. Soaring eagles like a tailwind. So the least favorable wind
direction for a flight north would be form the North. Eagles like heat
radiating from the surface of the earth so as to glide like an old Wright
Brothers' plane.

Sunday was a beautiful day. The sun was shining brightly, but a cold front
had just moved through the area. This shifted the winds again. Now the
winds were coming out of the Northwest. This might make for a bit easier
travel Northward.

We know that a cold front moved through. This means that cold air slipped
underneath the warmer air ahead of it--because cold air is heavier than
warm air. But besides the shifting wind direction, what else happened?
Were the temperatures affected? If so, how?

The temperatures dropped as a result of the cold front, and that is not
favorable weather for eagles to move Northward. Do you think the eagles
moved this week in the East?

The week ahead does not look favorable for the eagles to trek North. There
is a good chance that another storm just like last week's is coming. It is
scheduled to get to the Northeast very late Tuesday , and carry over into
Wednesday. The map for Tuesday morning (LINK TO TUESAM MAP) shows the main
circulation (or LOW) spinning over the Kentucky/Tennessee border. This
time the temperatures should be colder in the Northeast to start. So the
places where our eagles are, will probably receive a mixed bag of
precipitation including rain, sleet, and snow. This will carry into
Wednesday (LINK TO WEDWX). Look where the sunshine will be in the East on
Wednesday. It looks like Florida is the place to be! Like the storm last
week, this storm will leave high winds with us for a while after it passes.
That should take us right into Friday. Can you guess if and how the eagles
are going to move when the new data comes in? You can see if you are right
next week.

Produced by U.S. Satellite Laboratory
Tarrytown, NY
Technology for remote sensing in schools
Glen Schuster, Meteorologist
Josh Danziger, Student Meteorologist