Hot, humid air has been flowing into Missouri for the past two days and will continue for at least another 24 hours. This muggy, southern soup is courtesy of both a broad high pressure ridge over the eastern half of the U.S. and a slowly approaching Pacific front that should ignite thunderstorms by tomorrow afternoon.
Riding this river of subtropical air, the first wave of common nighthawks appeared in our skies yesterday evening. Among the last migrants of spring, they are more cautious than swallows and swifts, waiting until plenty of insects are reliably available for their late-day feasts. They'll be with us until late summer and, perhaps, as late as early October, departing for the tropics before autumn's chill annihilates their prey.
Meanwhile, here in the Midwest, this summer-like heat in early May is not welcomed by those of us who prefer cool weather. Fortunately, a milder and drier air mass is expected to move in by early next week, bringing spring conditions back to the Heartland. By then, I'll be heading to our Colorado farm, guaranteed to escape the heat and humidity that common nighthawks relish.