Friday, August 3, 2012

The tropics begin to come alive

Images courtesy of the National Hurricane Center, Aug 3, 2012
As we endure yet another heat wave (five so far this year) the tropics have also started to heat up a bit.  After a flurry of early season storms the tropics had been quiet.  This seems to be changing a bit as we start into the peak time for tropical systems.  As of today, August 3, there is a single named storm in the Atlantic as well as a couple areas of potential development.  Tropical Storm Ernesto is heading northwestward and is expected to slowly strengthen as it gets into areas more conductive for development.  As of now the forecast track takes the storm past Jamaica, past the Yucatan and then into the Gulf of Mexico.  As with most forecast tracks with tropical system, the future location of Ernesto is subject to change drastically.  The other two areas of concern include a low probability of development over the northern Bahamas and a tropical wave near the Cape Verde Islands with a moderate risk of development over the next 48 hours.  I will update from time to time as the hurricane season progresses, especially if there is potential for impact in the area.  As I have mentioned in several previous posts, tropical systems can bring some very unusual birds inland given the right conditions.  Species such as White-tailed Tropicbird, Parasitic Jaeger, Sooty Tern, an unidentified large swift species and numerous unusual shorebirds and other species arrived with Irene last August so there is no telling what species can show up during and after a tropical storm.  Here are a few links from the blog regarding the birds associated with Hurricane Irene last year.

In addition to the tropical activity I had a Louisiana Waterthrush singing at home this morning.  I have had one singing first thing in the morning on and off for the last week or two.  I also made a trip over to Quabbin and Covey WMA this evening trying for Whip-poor-wills but only got a lot of mosquito's!  One bonus was seeing a very bright meteor streak across the sky...likely part of the Perseid meteor shower.

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