The cool spring weather so far really hasn't been that cool relative to normal. 
In Ithaca
the average March temperature was only 1.9 degrees below the long term average.
Compared to last year, it was very cold since last March was 12.8 degrees above 
How soon we forget that we live in a cold climate!!!  

The jet stream patterns are exactly as described below, much farther south, 
related to
the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) which is in its negative or cold phase 
this spring so far. 


for information on the NAO   

Last year, the NAO was positive and hence the eastern U.S was warm! The NAO 
varies rapidly
from week to week but can be predominately in one phase for a prolong time 
period... i.e this
past March/early April. The NAO has been dropping recently in the long term 
mean and some 
have tied this to the loss of sea ice in the Arctic. My personal  professional 
opinion (not NOAA's!!) is 
that it is premature to be making this kind of cause and effect.  The NAO was 
predominately in a 
negative/cold phase in the 1960s and 1970s, returned to a positive/warm phase 
in the 1980s, 
peaking in the 1990s and has been falling ever since the 1990s peak. It is 


I also remember in the 1990s climate scientists were blaming the positive/warm 
phase of the NAO on anthropogenic
global warming! Now they are blaming the cold phase on global warming? What 
about the 1960s and 1970s
when the NAO was in the cool/negative phase?? Sea ice was much higher. I think 
the jury is still out
on this one. 

What is interesting is that even with a negative NAO, it was only slightly 
below normal temperature-wise
in March. In the past, a strongly negative NAO usually yielded MUCH colder 
temperatures, like March 1960
which was 10 degrees below normal with a negative NAO. That might be related to 
a global warming
signal...negative NAO patterns don't yield the kind of cold they used to. 

As far as woodcocks go, maybe they don't display as much when it is colder and 
windy so they are
not detected as much? Plus, are they as many people out on cold nights? These 
are just things to consider

Dave Nicosia    

From: Christopher T. Tessaglia-Hymes <>
Sent: Friday, April 5, 2013 9:49 AM
Subject: Arctic Sea Ice - Re: [cayugabirds-l] Woodcocks????


I suspect the cool weather has a lot to do with it. I believe that we are 
having a significantly cooler-than-normal spring, due to the Jet Stream being 
slightly farther south or much broader than usual. This, as I understand it, is 
directly correlated to the reduction in sea ice in the arctic which in turn 
creates a weakened pressure differential north of the Jet Stream, allowing the 
cold arctic air to spill much farther south than normal.

The following quote of text is from:

"A diminished latitudinal pressure gradient is linked to a weakening of the 
winds associated with the polar vortex and jet stream. Since the polar vortex 
normally retains the cold Arctic air masses up above the Arctic Circle, its 
weakening allows the cold air to invade lower latitudes."

More links:

I'm sure there are persons much more familiar with these weather changes, who 
can pipe up on this conversation... :-)

Chris T-H

On Apr 5, 2013, at 9:11 AM, bob mcguire wrote:

Has anyone been hearing/seeing woodcocks in the past few days?
>Back at the beginning of March we had several here on Whitted Rd (Snyder 
>Hill). And in years past we have had up to seven in our and neighboring 
>fields. I went out last night around 8 pm to survey and could not find a one. 
>It was relatively mild and I did hear
 an occasional peeper. It doesn't seem reasonable that they would have taken a 
step back south. Are this year's numbers down? Does anyone have any idea?
>Bob McGuire
>Cayugabirds-L List Info:
>Please submit your observations to eBird:

Christopher T. Tessaglia-Hymes
Field Applications Engineer
Bioacoustics Research Program, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road, Ithaca, New York 14850
W: 607-254-2418   M: 607-351-5740   F: 607-254-1132

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