Thursday, August 9, 2012

Updates to hurricane season and crossbills

Tropical Atlantic map, Aug 9, 2012, from NOAA

A quick update on a couple of topics I have talked about before.  The first is the ongoing hurricane season.  As of today the updated prediction for the season shows it at average or a bit above.  As the season has gone on the predictions for the total numbers of named storms has increased.  Here is a bit of the latest information courtesy of NOAA:
"Across the entire Atlantic Basin for the season – June 1 to November 30 – NOAA’s updated seasonal outlook projects a total (which includes the activity-to-date of tropical storms Alberto, Beryl, Debbie, Florence and hurricanes Chris and Ernesto) of:

·         12 to 17 named storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including:

·         5 to 8 hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which:

·         2 to 3 could be major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 111 mph)

The numbers are higher from the initial outlook in May, which called for 9-15 named storms, 4-8 hurricanes and 1-3 major hurricanes. Based on a 30-year average, a normal Atlantic hurricane season produces 12 named storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes."
So far there has been six named storms with two of those being hurricanes.  As of August 9th there is one named storm striking Mexico and a new tropical depression that has formed well out in the Atlantic that is predicted to become the next tropical storm.
The entire prediction and explanation can be found at the following link:

Red Crossbill, Prescott Peninsula, July 28, 2012

The other topic I will update are the Red Crossbills occurring in the Quabbin area this year.  A few experts from Cornell have contacted me to get additional video/audio for analysis to determine the specific type of crossbill located here.  I have uploaded additional photos and video from not only this season but previous seasons as well at Quabbin which can be found here:

The initial analysis done with the assistance of Ian Davies is likely correct in identifying the specific birds as Type 2 but there was some question and a bit further in the way of analysis was completed by Matthew Young from Cornell and this is the message I just got back this afternoon:
"Hi Guys,

I did the analysis on all of the material.   I would have to say that all except maybe 6589 and RECR 1 are of Type 2. Even these two recordings, I suspect are Type 2 as well, but a cautious approach would be to leave these two as probable Type 2 or unable to identify to type 100%. What was the corresponding video to RECR_1?

* probable type 2
Mass_Red Crossbills_6536.wav: classic Type 2
Mass_Red Crossbills_6541.wav: Type 2
Mass_Red Crossbills_6546.wav:  Type 2
Mass_Red Crossbills_6547.wav: Type 2
Mass_Red Crossbills_6550.wav: Type 2
Mass_Red Crossbills_6589.wav: Type 2 *
Mass_Red Crossbills_6612.wav: Type 2
RECR_1: Type 2 *
RECR_2:  Type 2

Type 1 have a more attenuated chip and these two have a sound that is suggestive of that...and the specs are a bit intermediate. Anyway, I'm attaching short wav files of Type 1 and 2 I've recorded in NY. These are good examples of both."

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