Date: 4/4/18 8:32 pm
From: <phawk254...>
Subject: [MASSBIRD] Hawk Migration Forecast for Plum Island Hawk Watch April 4-8, 2018
(Please delete this message unless you are interested in the forecast for hawk migration on Plum Island for the next five days. I've sent out my complete forecast through April 8 and report on recent hawk movement to over 225 people who have requested to receive forecasts for the spring migration (originally subscribing via MassBird). Regrettably, two subsets of subscribers totaling 12 individuals keep bouncing and despite hours of effort I cannot identify the problem yet. Thus I am reaching out to those twelve to inform them of the possibility of one or more good days for hawk migration at Plum, particularly tomorrow, Thursday. The following is only a part of the forecast mailed. If you are subscribed and did not receive this forecast, please email me to that effect so I can be sure I have your correct email address.)

"Remember from our last forecast; strong winds anywhere from the west – good. Weak winds – bad. Winds from N clockwise to S – Bad. How often did you access a detailed weather forecast every day this past week? If you did not check at least twice a day, you flunked the first day of class. Forecasts for both Saturday and Sunday remained essentially what they had been when I wrote my forecast, but the wind direction and especially the speed were altered multiple times before the events.

There are many different sources for online forecasts out there. My current favorite is National Weather Service Forecast Office, Boston, MA with a Point Forecast for Newburyport, MA

You can search for “U.S. Weather Service Forecast for Newburyport, MA”. That should take you to the URL providing current conditions for Lawrence Municipal Airport. To the right of the current conditions click on “Hourly Weather Forecast”, which should take you to the graphical four-day forecast for Newburyport and showing current conditions at Newburyport on the bottom of the page. (I believe you get this only through the U.S. Weather Service.)

The strengths of this is that it forecasts
1. Surface Wind Speed, Direction, and Gusts
2. Precipitation
3. Temperature
on an hourly basis for the next 96 hours. Four days. Because the forecast is more detailed than most you will find doesn’t mean that the details forecast are accurate. The accuracy is highest for the most immediate hours and decreases each day you go out. Everything depends on the precise location of the low or high, and its strength, so the forecast changes specifics frequently, as often as every hour. Wind direction and speed are CRITICAL, much more so than sky cover and temperature. If the wind is from the west, you would prefer it to be strong 12-25 mph. Top wind gusts are forecast, which you’d like to be between 15-40 mph. (Ideally perhaps 20-25 mph).

Today, Wednesday, the winds are warm from the south, with widespread rain. Not good. Thursday looks great, with WNW winds around 15 mph with gusts up to 30 mph all day long. This should be very good for Plum. Dress in heavy winter gear. If you can’t get to the watch, it could be good hawk watching anywhere near the coast. Friday the winds are forecast to be SSW/S/SE/SW gusting up to 25 mph with the possibility of 1-3 inches of snow!!! Saturday winds look to be due West, but at a marginal 8-10 mph. Saturday could be productive, or not, depending on what happens Thursday and what the wind direction and speeds actually are on Saturday. If winds are a bit stronger, there might be a good flight. Check the forecasts Friday. Right now the first few hours of Sunday morning are forecast to be NNW at 8 mph. So Thursday looks best right now, and Saturday might look better by Friday, but live forecasts are now projecting more snow and rain on Saturday. You need to check detailed forecasts at least twice every day, hours apart, and remember the fundamental guidelines I’ve offered."



Paul M. Roberts
Medford, MA
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