Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Cristobal Reminiscence/Data

It was a good day... worth reminiscing about.

This post is mostly to summarize the weather patterns associated with the storm simply for future reference. Keeping a good record of how the weather played out and the resulting birds may help predict seabird events in the future.

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Three big things I learned that day:

- that seabird numbers can and do increase during daylight
- winds don't need to be 60+km/h overnight to get storm-petrels into Holyrood
- visibility (i.e. fog/drizzle) plays a big factor as to whether the birds stay in Holyrood regardless of wind strength


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-----------------The Boring Data------------------
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Speed of max gust at the St. John's Airport was 54 km/h on Aug 28, and 72 km/h on Aug 29.

Here's the data from the St. John's Buoy which is just North of Cape Spear:

Date & TimeAverage Wind
Speed (knots)
Peak Wind
Speed (knots)
Wind Direction
From (degrees)
8/29/2014 12:23:0129.1438.856.2
8/29/2014 11:53:0127.7835.161.2
8/29/2014 11:23:0129.9236.526.2
8/29/2014 10:53:0129.1438.0710.2
8/29/2014 10:23:0128.7536.7115.2
8/29/2014 9:53:0128.5637.4916.2
8/29/2014 9:23:0127.7832.8319.2
8/29/2014 8:53:0127.9734.7718.2
8/29/2014 8:23:0126.8132.8326.2
8/29/2014 7:53:0127.5833.9927.2
8/29/2014 7:23:0127.9734.3831.2
8/29/2014 6:53:0125.4530.6929.2
8/29/2014 6:23:0125.4533.9938.2
8/29/2014 5:53:0124.6729.5342.2
8/29/2014 5:23:0125.6431.2745.2
8/29/2014 4:53:012733.4140.2
8/29/2014 4:23:0125.6430.339.2
8/29/2014 3:53:0124.0928.5642.2
8/29/2014 3:23:0124.0929.3337.2
8/29/2014 2:53:0124.8629.1436.2
8/29/2014 2:23:0122.3427.9731.2
8/29/2014 1:53:0118.2622.1427.2
8/29/2014 1:23:0117.4822.9218.2
8/29/2014 0:53:0117.0920.7922.2
8/29/2014 0:23:0116.5120.0116.2
8/28/2014 23:53:0113.7916.911.2
8/28/2014 23:23:0114.3718.4529.2
8/28/2014 22:53:0113.7917.2934.2
8/28/2014 22:23:0114.3718.4533.2
8/28/2014 21:53:0115.9320.240.2
8/28/2014 21:23:0114.9619.2338.2
8/28/2014 20:53:0114.7618.0741.2
8/28/2014 20:23:0113.7917.0940.2
8/28/2014 19:53:0114.1817.0936.2
8/28/2014 19:23:0114.7617.6834.2
8/28/2014 18:53:0113.2115.5435.2
8/28/2014 18:23:0112.2414.5730.2
8/28/2014 17:53:0112.6315.9335.2
8/28/2014 17:23:0112.2415.7338.2
8/28/2014 16:53:0112.6314.9631.2
8/28/2014 16:23:0113.0215.7328.2
8/28/2014 15:53:0112.2414.7624.2
8/28/2014 15:23:0111.6614.3734.2
8/28/2014 14:53:0112.0414.5730.2
8/28/2014 14:23:0112.2415.3528.2
8/28/2014 13:53:0113.2115.9335.2
8/28/2014 13:23:0113.415.9338.2
8/28/2014 12:53:0111.2713.7932.2
8/28/2014 12:23:0112.0414.1833.2


According to this data, winds were 46km/h on average and gusts up to 63km/h around sunrise from 38 degrees (NNE).


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---------------------Wind Maps--------------------
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A series of wind maps starting at 3:30pm August 28.


At 3pm on the 28th winds were from the NE (70 degrees) and were blowing at 33km/h at the mouth of CBS:

Around midnight they were up to 42 km/h still from the NE (70 degrees):

At 3:30am winds were up to 51 km/h (55 degrees):

At 6:30am (around sunrise) winds were now up to 58km/h (55 degrees). The first birders arrived on the scene shortly after this to see about 300 storm-petrels in the bay:

At 9:30am winds apparently dropped to 45km/h at the mouth of the bay but were from a more NNE direction (35 degrees):

At 12:30pm winds were now 52km/h at the mouth of CBS at 30 degrees: 


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----------------------The Birds---------------------
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Holyrood eBird list:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S19608492

Storm-petrels: low hundreds around sunrise, increasing throughout the morning to the high thousands (up to 10000 in total)

Jaegers/skuas: First one seen around 9:45am. Ian picked out a skua sp. at the same time I found a Pomarine Jaeger. Another 5-10 jaegers seen in the next 10 minutes including 4 adult Pomarine Jaegers seen flying against the wind without much difficulty. Other jaegers seen sporadically over the next 2 hours. A probable immature Great Skua seen exiting CBS from Cape St. Francis around 2:45pm.

Gannets: a few seen at sunrise. Didn't seem like numbers of gannets increased throughout the morning.

Terns: Up to 10 terns, the ones seen well enough were identified as Common Tern.

Phalaropes: None. They should have been there though...

Gulls: not many at sunrise. A slight increase by noon perhaps associated with the fact that storm-petrels were starting to die due to exhaustion = easy food for the gulls.






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------------------Until Next Time-----------------
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That's all. Hopefully some day this data will come in handy for me or someone else trying to predict what a Northeast storm might carry with it.

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