Arthur gives birds an eye view
While the human impact of Hurricane Arthur could be pegged in the inconvenient category, for some sea-faring birds, Arthur was perhaps life-altering.
Meteorologists were perplexed by a radar capture of Hurricane Arthur revealing some clutter in an otherwise well-defined eye. Then came reports of birds showing up in odd places after the storm.
Ever since National Weather Service radar has been upgraded to dual-polarization technology, experts are able to analyze the difference in size between droplets scanned on a horizontal beam versus a vertical beam.
Since most droplets are nearly round, little difference is seen in the horizontal and vertical comparisons, on the order of 0 to 2db. However, in Arthur's eye, returns of 6 to 7db were on display.
The severe weather and radar research team at the University of Alabama at Huntsville looked over several such images from the early July tropical cyclone. Combining the ornithological reports with some common knowledge, scientists determined that only one thing could be showing up in that eye that is much wider than vertical-birds.
Through history, hurricanes have had a record of encapsulating birds in the fair-weather eye while violent winds repel them from flying through the eye-wall. As hurricanes can travel hundreds or thousands of miles, the birds are at the mercy of the storm's path and have been known to show up thousands of miles from their natural habitats.
There are already reports of Carolina and Florida based birds showing up in Nova Scotia.
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