Salamander Forecast

Some years, Big Night is easy to predict: thawed ground, warm temperatures (above 40°F), and heavy evening rains will prompt spotted salamanders and wood frogs to move en masse. Other years, the migration is trickier to foretell. Often, temperature fluctuations and varying snow depth mean that Big Night will occur at different times in different places.

Salamander season has come to a close for 2018. Check back in March 2019 for the next round of salamander forecasts!

May 10, 2018

A few stragglers might migrate back to the woods from their breeding pools over the next rainy night or two, but the bulk of the spring migration has come to an end. Still, you’ll want to stay alert, as toads and warm-weather frogs will be out and about on rainy nights — especially on roads near wetlands, lakes, ponds, and other water bodies — all summer long!

May 7, 2018

Amphibians were on the move in last night’s rain, but most were headed away from their breeding wetlands, their courtship and egg laying over for the year. With salamander season drawing to a close and no rain in the extended forecast, it’s unlikely we’ll be calling out the Crossing Brigades again this spring….

May 6, 2018

Salamander season is winding down, but amphibians were on the move Friday night’s thunderstorms. Today’s rain is expected to linger into the wee hours. If it does, we will likely see another burst of amphibian movement — wood frogs, peepers, and spotted salamanders will be heading away from the wetlands, American toads and gray tree frogs may be heading in, and all manner of other amphibians might be out and about enjoying the warm, wet weather…

If it’s raining after dark, don your reflective vest, grab your flashlight, and head out to your nearest crossing for what could be the last migration of the year!

One exception: Eastern Avenue in Keene has had consistently low amphibian counts the last few migration nights, so it’s likely that the migration has already ended at that site for the year. If you were planning to head to Eastern Avenue, see our list of crossing sites for other ideas. (Matthews Road in Swanzey and Glebe Road in Westmoreland could always use more helping hands!)

May 5, 2018

Salamander season is winding down, but amphibians were on the move in last night’s thunderstorms. If Sunday’s rain lingers after dark, we could see another burst of amphibian movement — wood frogs, peepers, and spotted salamanders will be heading away from the wetlands, American toads and grey tree frogs will be heading in, and all manner of other amphibians might be out and about enjoying the warm, wet weather…

If the ground is wet after dark on Sunday, don your reflective vest, grab your flashlight, and head out to your nearest crossing for what could be one of the last migrations of the year!

May 4, 2018

Salamander season is winding down, but if showers linger after dark, the warm temperatures could trigger amphibian movement — wood frogs, peepers, and spotted salamanders may be heading away from the wetlands, American toads and grey tree frogs will be heading in, and all manner of other amphibians might be out and about enjoying the warm, wet weather…

If the ground is wet after dark, don your reflective vest, grab your flashlight, and head out to your nearest crossing for what could be one of the last migrations of the year!

Safety note: thunderstorms are also in the forecast. If it’s thundering or lightning, stay inside until the storm has passed! As a rule of thumb, wait at least 30 minutes after the last visible lightning or audible thunder before heading out to cross critters. Keep your eyes on the weather, and stay safe!

May 3, 2018

Showers looks likely for tonight. Salamander season is winding down, but if it’s wet after dark, the warm temperatures could trigger one last Big Night — wood frogs, peepers, and spotted salamanders may be heading away from the wetlands, American toads and grey tree frogs will be heading in, and all manner of other amphibians might be out and about enjoying the warm, wet weather…

The City of Keene will be closing the North Lincoln Street crossing to car traffic, but critters at other sites will need the helping hands of the Salamander Brigades. If the ground is wet after dark, don your reflective vest, grab your flashlight, and head out to your nearest crossing for what could be one of the last migrations of the year!

Safety note: thunderstorms are also in the forecast. Right now, it looks like the storms will be over by nightfall, but if it’s thundering or lightning, stay inside until the storm has passed! As a rule of thumb, wait at least 30 minutes after the last visible lightning or audible thunder before heading out to cross critters. Keep your eyes on the weather, and stay safe!

May 2, 2018

The migration may be winding down for the year, but if roads are wet after dark on Thursday or Friday, this week’s warm temperatures could trigger one last Big Night or two — wood frogs, peepers, and spotted salamanders may be heading away from the wetlands, American toads and grey tree frogs will be heading in, and all manner of other amphibians might be out and about enjoying the warm, wet weather…

Safety note: thunderstorms are also in the forecast for tomorrow and Friday. Right now, it seems like the storms will move through in the daylight hours, but if it’s thundering or lightning at night, stay inside until the storm has passed! It’s a good rule of thumb to wait at least 30 minutes after the last visible lightning or audible thunder before heading out to cross critters. Keep your eyes on the weather, and stay safe!

April 30, 2018

Despite similar conditions to last Wednesday’s Big Night, Friday was a Small Night throughout the region — a sign that the migration season is winding down. Still, if showers linger past nightfall, some stragglers and outbound migrants could make their move tonight. Rain is predicted to end by 9 p.m., so we won’t be closing North Lincoln Street, but if it’s raining after dark, it’s certainly worth checking out your local crossing. If you go, don’t forget your reflective vest!

April 28, 2018

Counts are still trickling in from last night, but it looks like it was a Small Night throughout the region — despite very similar weather conditions to Wednesday, which was a Big Night at many sites. In addition, the majority of last night’s wood frogs, spring peepers, and Jefferson complex salamanders were heading away from their breeding wetlands, their courtship and egg laying done for the year. This could mean that the migration season is winding down.

Still, if showers move through after nightfall, some stragglers and outbound migrants could make their move tonight. The chance of evening rain is only 30-40%, so we won’t be closing North Lincoln Street, but if it’s raining after dark, it’s certainly worth checking out your local crossing. If you go, don’t forget your reflective vest, as Saturday night traffic may be busier than usual!

April 27, 2018

Today’s forecasts are all over the place, especially with regards to the timing of this evening’s rain. Some reports say the rain will end well before dark. Others say that it’ll keep going throughout the evening. If the rain continues after dark — or if it’s misty, or even if the ground stays damp for several hours after the rain has ended, like it did on Wednesday night — we could see a migration. If the ground is dry after dark, critters will likely stay put.

This may be one of those nights where it’s wet enough for a migration in some towns, and too dry in others, so it’s more important than ever to keep an eye on your local conditions. If it’s misty, raining, or the ground is wet in your neck of the woods tonight, don your reflective vest, grab your flashlight, and head out to your nearest crossing! If the ground is dry, continue with your regularly planned Friday evening, as amphibians are unlikely to be afoot.

April 26, 2018

The rain petered out for a few hours in the early part of the evening last night, but thousands of amphibians still made their move. (We’ll post a full field report soon.) Rain is looking likely for tomorrow night as well. If it comes through as forecast, the migration will likely continue. Stay tuned!

April 25, 2018

We’re still on track for drenching rains during the day and showers after dark. Given the warm temperatures earlier this week, we could be in for a very Big Night tonight. At some sites, amphibians who’ve already migrated will take this chance to return to the woods, while higher-elevation sites will likely experience their first migration of the year. The City of Keene will be closing the North Lincoln Street crossing to car traffic. If it’s raining at dark where you are, don your reflective vest, grab your flashlight, and head out to your nearest crossing!

Looking ahead: rain also looks likely for Friday night. If it comes through, any stragglers who didn’t migrate tonight could make their move then. Stay tuned!

April 24, 2018

Rain is still expected to move in just before dawn tomorrow, prompting a short burst of amphibian movement in the wee hours of “Tuesday” night, before continuing throughout the day and into Wednesday night. Temperatures will be hovering near a balmy 50° after dark. In short, Wednesday has the makings of a very Big Night!

As you surely know by now, spring weather can change with very little notice, so grab your reflective vest, put fresh batteries in your flashlight, and call your salamander friends to make plans for tomorrow night — but also make sure to watch the weather and check back one last time before heading out on Wednesday evening.

April 23, 2018

Now that warmer temperatures have arrived, amphibians will be raring to go! Rain may move in just before dawn on Wednesday, continuing throughout the day and into the night, with temperatures hovering near 50° after dark. In other words: Wednesday has the makings of a very Big Night, all throughout the Monadnock Region. Keep your fingers crossed that the salamander rains stay on track!

April 20, 2018

Rain is coming to some parts of the Monadnock Region this afternoon, but it’s expected to end by nightfall and temperatures are forecast to dip into the 30s at sunset, so tonight will likely be too cold and too dry for amphibians. Things could always change (this is spring in New England, after all…) but right now our next chance of nighttime rain isn’t until Wednesday (!) Stay tuned…

April 17, 2018

Last night turned out to be colder, drier, and icier than originally forecast, so there were no amphibians afoot! Our next chance for evening rain is Thursday, though right now temperatures are looking decidedly chilly that day. A few degrees in either direction could make a big difference. Stay tuned!

April 16, 2018

2:30 p.m. The deluge has started and warmer air is on its way, but tonight’s forecast is still fairly unsettled. Some towns may see salamander-friendly temperatures in the mid-40s at or shortly sunset, while others will hover right on the cusp of what frogs can tolerate (39-40°). Similarly, the likelihood of nighttime precipitation varies widely — from 30 to 60% — across the region and throughout the night. It may be warm and wet enough for a migration in some towns, and too dry or too cold in others, so it’s more important than ever to keep an eye on your local conditions. If the ground has thawed, temperatures are above 40°, the wind advisory is no longer in effect, and it’s raining after dark where you are, head on out to see what you can see! If it’s cold, dry, icy, or the wind is still wailing, sit tight, as that’s what the salamanders will be doing.

9:30 a.m. It’s feeling pretty wintry right now, but heavy rain is expected throughout the day, so it’s not inconceivable that the freshly-fallen snow and ice will have melted by afternoon. Warmer air is also expected to move in just before sundown. However, the current forecast is still fairly unsettled and highly variable, even within the Monadnock Region. Some towns may see salamander-friendly temperatures in the mid-40s by sunset, while others will stay right on the cusp of frog-friendliness (39-41°). Similarly, likelihood of nighttime precipitation varies widely — from 30 to 60% — across the region. It may well be warm and wet enough for a migration in some towns, and too dry or too cold in others, so it’s important to keep an eye on your local conditions. We’ll check back in this afternoon, when we’ll hopefully have more certainty about what to expect tonight.

April 13, 2018

Last night was a BIG NIGHT, with thousands of amphibians making their move throughout much of the Monadnock Region. (Full field report soon to come!) Looking ahead: this weekend will be wet, but evening temperatures will be too cold for amphibians. Monday does look quite promising, though, so stay tuned!

April 12, 2018

We’re still on track for warm temperatures and rain around sunset tonight. Right now, it looks like the rain will only linger through 10 p.m. or so, but that ought to be enough to trigger a burst of amphibian movement. The City of Keene will be closing the North Lincoln Street crossing to car traffic, and we could see our first migration of the year at other sites as well. If it’s raining at dark and the snowpack has finally melted where you are, don your reflective vest, grab your flashlight, and head out to your nearest crossing! Looking ahead: warm rain is also possible on both Saturday and Monday evenings. Temperatures may be marginal on Saturday, but Monday looks quite promising. Stay tuned!

April 11, 2018

We’re still keeping our eye on Thursday’s forecast, but timing is everything. Right now, Thursday’s rain is predicted to end right around nightfall. If the rain continues after dark, we could see a migration. If roads are dry by sunset, then we’ll be looking to Saturday for our next chance at a Big Night.

April 9, 2018

It’s finally starting to warm up! There’s rain in the forecast for Thursday, but the timing is still up in the air. If Thursday’s rain continues after dark, we could be in for a migration. If the showers move out early, then we’ll be looking to the weekend for our next chance at a Big Night. Stay tuned!

April 6, 2018

There’s rain in tonight’s forecast, but it is not a warm rain! Amphibians will be sitting tight until things warm up. Tuesday is our next chance of evening rains, but it’s only a small chance, and temperatures will still be on the chilly side. Sit tight, as we’re still waiting for Big Night…

April 5, 2018

Rain is in the forecast for tomorrow evening, and nighttime temperatures will be just on the cusp of frog-friendliness (39-41°). However, tomorrow’s daytime temperatures will only be in the mid-30s and we may even see an inch of fresh snowfall. Some cold-hardy wood frogs and spring peepers could brave the chilly rain tomorrow night, but unless the forecast takes a warmer turn, a Big Night is unlikely.

April 4, 2018

Today’s warm rains are expected to taper off by 4. If they linger longer than predicted and the ground is still wet at nightfall, we could see a short burst of amphibian movement on wet roads. After today, it’ll be cold and dry. Unless the weather forecast changes, we’re not likely to see any amphibian movement before next week.

April 3, 2018

1:30 p.m. The forecast has changed for the colder since this morning, and the “pavement” temperature in Keene is now expected to be only 35° at dark, with a period of brief wintry mix before sunset. That’s cold, even for wood frogs, so we won’t be closing North Lincoln Street tonight after all. If temperatures are a touch warmer in your neck of the woods (38° or higher) and the ground is bare, a Small Night is still possible, but major amphibian movement would be surprising. Looking ahead, tomorrow will bring warm rain, but it’s expected to wrap up several hours before sunset. If the rain lingers longer than predicted and the ground is still wet at nightfall, we could see a short burst of amphibian movement on wet roads. There is also a very small possibility of early evening rain on Friday, but no evening this week is ideal. The best is yet to come!

10 a.m. It won’t exactly be a “warm” rain tonight, but a 38°-deluge could prompt a small migration of cold-hardy wood frogs and spring peepers in places where the ground has thawed. To be on the safe side, the City of Keene will be closing the North Lincoln Street crossing to car traffic and we’ll have a least a few Salamander Brigadiers out there, keeping count of whatever brave critters make their way. If you too are cold-hardy and the ground is bare in your neck of the woods, head out to your nearest crossing to see what you can find. If, like the salamanders, you’d prefer to wait for a warmer evening, that’s fine too!

April 2, 2018

We’re still on track for soaking rains tomorrow night, but temperatures will be just at the edge of what wood frogs and peepers can tolerate. 39-40° at nightfall and we could have another migration. 36-38° and amphibian movement will be minimal. Wednesday’s rain will be warmer, but it’s expected to dry up several hours before sunset. Right now, it’s all wait and see. Tuesday: if the snow has melted and temperatures are hovering around 40° in your neck of the woods after dark, head out in search of amphibians! Wednesday: if the rain lingers longer than expected and the ground is still wet at nightfall, we could see a quick burst of amphibian movement on wet roads. If it’s cold or dry on either night, then we could be waiting all night for amphibians to appear. We’ll update this forecast as weather predictions settle out, so keep checking back.

March 30, 2018

Keene had its first Big Night last night (see the field report here!), and Swanzey, Winchester, and Westmoreland had small pulses of amphibian movement too. The rain also melted a fair bit of snow at our other sites, inching us ever closer to thawed ground. Right now, our next good chance of evening rain is Tuesday night, though temperatures may be on the cold side for our four-footed friends. Stay tuned!

March 29, 2018

It’s still looking good for 45-degree rain tonight, so we could be in for our first Big Night at our warmest lowland sites, such as North Lincoln Street and Eastern Avenue in Keene and Forest Lake Road in Winchester. If the ground is bare — or nearly bare — where you are and it’s raining at dark, don your reflective vest, grab your flashlight, and head out to your nearest crossing in search of wood frogs and spring peepers. If you do, be sure to let us know what you find!

March 28, 2018

There’s a 60-80% chance of 45-degree rain tomorrow night, which is perfect for a Big Night! However, most of the Monadnock Region is still blanketed in snow, which is not so frog-friendly. If the rain comes through as predicted, we could see our first migration of the year tomorrow, but only at low-elevation sites with bare ground − such as North Lincoln Street and Eastern Avenue in Keene − and only if the ground near those sites thaws sufficiently by sundown tomorrow Stay tuned!

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To volunteer or for more information, please contact Brett Amy Thelen at (603) 358-2065 or by email.