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Thursday, 12 October 2017

Heads up - Hurricane coming this way

While I'm generally not in the business of forecasting what rare birds might turn up when (a fool's game), this is one of the more interesting weather forecasts in many, many years, one that should get birders all over the country sitting up in their chairs, taking a little intake of breath, followed by a soft whistle and a low, muttered 'Holy Shiiiiit!".

A hurricane is now forming south of the Azores, Hurricane Ophelia, but it is forecast to gather momentum and to whisk quickly north-east, fading as it does so. But as the forecast stands now, just after midnight on Thursday 12th October, it is aimed right at Ireland and is due to arrive some time on Monday. While maybe not hurricane force by the time it reaches Ireland, the winds will be VERY strong, with a lot of rain.

What birds might this bring? It'll be most interesting to see. It's mid-October, the height of the migration season, and this is a rather bizarre weather phenomena. As it approaches, it will suck in south to south-east winds off the Continent. Trust me, if this forecast holds true, this will produce some good birds.

If it doesn't, and this is very important, I'll simply delete this post in a week or so and you will all hopefully forget all about it, but if it DOES... jaysus, you'll never hear the end of it...

The forecast for the projected path of Hurricane Ophelia at midnight on Thursday/Friday, from the National Hurricane Centre, USA (link HERE). While at the moment it is almost stationary, by Saturday it is accelerating at a ferocious rate, heading for Kerry. Well, Mayo.

The forecast for probable wind speeds, at midnight on Thursday/Friday, from the National Hurricane Centre, USA (link HERE). 

I haven't seen a forecast quite like that since the internet was born.

The forecast for the timing of strong winds from Hurricane Ophelia, at midnight on Thursday/Friday, from the National Hurricane Centre, USA (link HERE).

This one is worth watching. If it does what it says on the tin, be prepared to call in sick.


UPDATE: Ok, 'Hurricane AFailure' didn't produce ANY birds of note. No mad passerine, no exotic seabird. I won't delete this post as a lesson to myself; never, and I mean NEVER, try to predict what rare bird will turn up, and where, and when...