Salamander Forecast

When Will the Amphibians Migrate? Here's Our Best Guess.

Spring amphibian migrations are spurred by a combination of thawed ground, warm nighttime temperatures (above 40°F), and wet weather — though temperature fluctuations and varying snow depth mean that Big Night often occurs at different times in different places. Spring weather in New England is notoriously fickle, so check back often for the most up-to-date forecast!

May 10, 2019

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 amphibian migration has come to an end and we won’t be calling out the Crossing Brigades again this year. 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, 2019

Another Big Night is unlikely this year, but we could have a Small Night or two as stragglers continue to migrate back to the woods over the next few rainy nights. Tonight and Friday are our best remaining chances for a migration — however small — this spring.

May 5, 2019

More amphibians were afoot in Friday night’s rain than we would have guessed! Most were heading away from their breeding wetlands, a confirmation that salamander season is waning. Another Big Night is unlikely this spring, but we could have a Small Night or two as stragglers continue to migrate back to the woods over the next few rainy nights. Thursday is our best remaining chance for a migration — however small — this spring.

May 2, 2019

Spotted salamander and wood frog eggs have appeared in many local vernal pools, and nearly all the amphibians encountered in last week’s rains were heading away from their breeding wetlands, a sign that salamander season is waning. Another Big Night in unlikely this spring, but some stragglers might migrate back to the woods over the next rainy night or two. Friday is likely our best remaining chance for a migration — however small — this spring.

April 29, 2019

Spotted salamander and wood frog eggs have appeared in many local vernal pools, and nearly all the amphibians encountered in last week’s rains were heading away from their breeding wetlands, a sign that salamander season is waning. Some stragglers might migrate back to the woods over the next rainy night or two, but another Big Night is unlikely this spring.

April 26, 2019

Salamander season is winding down, but if today’s rain continues after dark as predicted, we could see one last concentrated migration, with most of the amphibians headed back to the woods. There will likely be fewer amphibians afoot than earlier in the season — as many have already completed both parts of their migration for this year — but if you’re looking for one last chance to don your reflective vest in search of salamanders, this could be it!

The North Lincoln Street crossing site in Keene will be closed to vehicles tonight, from George Street to the southwest corner of Robin Hood Park, as indicated by the red bars on this map. As usual, critter counts and spot pattern photographs will continue − in part so we can report on how many amphibians benefited from the road closures. If you want to join us and live nearby, it’s best to walk. Get more information on the North Lincoln Street amphibian detours here. This will likely be the last amphibian road closure of the year. 

April 25, 2019

Salamander season is winding down, but if tomorrow’s rain comes through as predicted, we could see one last concentrated migration, with most of the amphibians headed back to the woods. There will likely be fewer amphibians afoot than earlier in the season — as many have already completed both parts of their migration for this year — but if you’re looking for one last chance to don your reflective vest in search of salamanders, Friday could be it! Check back tomorrow to see if we’re still on track for salamander rains.

April 23, 2019

Amphibians were afoot last night, though many of them were migrating away from their breeding pools, their courtship and egg laying done for the year. This is a sign that salamander season is starting to wane, though it’s not over just yet. As of 11 a.m., the weather forecast is calling for a 50-80% chance of rain between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. tonight. There is also a 30% chance of showers earlier in the evening. Whenever tonight’s rain comes, amphibians will likely be on the move. If it’s in the waking hours for humans and you’ve got the energy, don your reflective vest, grab a flashlight, and head on out to see what you can find! If it’s after your bedtime, rest assured that late-night migrations are somewhat safer for salamanders, as there are fewer cars on the road at that hour, especially on weekdays.

Because the rain is expected to arrive so late, the North Lincoln Street crossing site in Keene will not be closed to vehicles tonight.

April 22, 2019

1 p.m. Tonight’s forecast looks very promising for a migration. However, if there’s anything these last few weeks have taught us, it’s that forecasts of early evening rain have a tendency to shift at the last minute! If it’s wet at nightfall, we could be in for a Big Night, with amphibians moving in all directions — American toads, spring peepers, spotted salamanders, and gray tree frogs heading towards their breeding pools, and wood frogs and some peepers heading away, their courtship and egg-laying done for the year. If it’s raining after dark, don your reflective vest, grab your flashlight, and head to your nearest crossing to see what you can find! If you do head out tonight and notice that some amphibians are migrating back towards the woods, please include that information with your tallies and photos, as it’s helpful for assessing where we stand in the arc of the migration season.

The North Lincoln Street crossing site in Keene will be closed to vehicles tonight, from George Street to the southwest corner of Robin Hood Park, as indicated by the red bars on this map. Critter counts and spot pattern photographs will continue at this site − in part so we can report on how many amphibians benefited from the road closures. If you want to join us and live nearby, it’s best to walk. Get more information on the North Lincoln Street amphibian detours here.

April 20, 2019

Last night’s rain came in several hours later than originally predicted — a boon for the amphibians, who had fewer cars to contend with after midnight, but less exciting for those of us who were hoping to witness the spectacle. As of 4 p.m., the weather forecast is calling for a 40% chance of showers between 8 and 10 p.m. tonight, with cloudy skies to follow. If the rain comes, the migration will likely continue. If it doesn’t, American toads, gray tree frogs, and spring peepers could still be on the move in the warm, humid air, but a big salamander night is unlikely. This one’s a nail-biter, and might come down to the very last minute!

The forecast is iffy enough that we are not planning to close North Lincoln Street to traffic. However, toads, wood frogs, and spring peepers could still be out in the balmy air, especially if the ground stays damp after dark. If you head down to North Lincoln Street — or any of our other crossing sites — to lend them a helping hand, be sure to don a reflective vest, bring a bright light, and stay vigilant about passing cars!

April 19, 2019

Warm rain is currently expected to arrive shortly after nightfall. Once it gets going, amphibians will likely be on the move! Tonight’s balmy temperatures could usher in the first large-scale appearances of warm weather species like gray tree frogs and American toads. Now that so many amphibians have already completed their journey to the pools, it’s also possible we’ll see lower numbers and/or the beginning of a migration away from breeding wetlands, especially at low-elevation sites like Keene, Swanzey, and Westmoreland. If you head out tonight and notice that amphibians are migrating back towards the woods, please include that information with your tallies and photos, as it’s helpful for assessing where we stand in the arc of the migration season.

The North Lincoln Street crossing site in Keene will be closed to vehicles tonight, from George Street to the southwest corner of Robin Hood Park, as indicated by the red bars on this map. Critter counts and spot pattern photographs will continue at this site − in part so we can report on how many amphibians benefited from the road closures. If you want to join us and live nearby, it’s best to walk. Get more information on the North Lincoln Street amphibian detours here.

April 18, 2019

Pace yourself, Brigadiers! We are about to enter an extended wet period, where showers are possible nearly every night. Right now, Friday and Saturday look like the best chance for extended rain and therefore extended migration, though amphibian movement is certainly possible whenever showers move through after dark, including tonight. If you’ve only got one night to give to the Crossing Brigades this weekend, Friday is the most promising. If you’ve got unlimited energy, head out whenever the rains come after dark!

Now that so many amphibians have already completed their journey to the pools, it’s possible we’ll see lower numbers and/or outbound migrants at low-elevation sites (Keene, Swanzey, Winchester, Westmoreland). Higher-elevation sites that got a later start due to lingering snow or cold temperatures (Nelson, Harrisville, Peterborough) will likely still see critters headed towards the breeding pools.

The North Lincoln Street crossing site in Keene will not be closed to vehicles tonight, but it may be closed on Friday and Saturday. Check back tomorrow for the latest!

April 16, 2019

Ready yourself, Brigadiers! Conditions on both Thursday and Friday nights look very promising for migrations. The warmer temperatures on Friday night could usher in the first appearances of warm-weather species like gray tree frogs and higher numbers of American toads. Friday’s rain looks steadier than Thursday’s showers, and temperatures on Friday will be quite a bit higher — giving Friday a “green” and Thursday just a “yellow” at this early date — but if the predicted weather holds true, migrations could be possible on both nights.

We actually found a handful of wood frogs and spring peepers migrating away from their breeding wetlands in Keene on Sunday night — their courtship and egg laying done for the year — marking a subtle turn in the tide of the migration. Now that so many amphibians have already completed their journey to the pools, it’s possible we’ll see lower numbers and/or outbound migrants at other low-elevation sites (Keene, Swanzey, Winchester, Westmoreland) on the next few rainy nights. Higher-elevation sites that got a later start due to lingering snow or cold temperatures (Nelson, Harrisville, Peterborough) will likely still see critters headed towards the breeding pools. As you surely know by now, spring weather is fickle and all of this could change by tomorrow, so keep checking back for the most up-to-date predictions!

April 15, 2019

Last night’s rain came in much later than originally anticipated, leading to a late-night Big Night instead of the early evening salamander fest we’d all anticipated. (If any of you night owls went out to cross critters, be sure to let us know where you were, when you were there, and what you found!) If this afternoon’s rain also shifts later than expected and the ground stays wet after dark, the migration could continue tonight. If the ground is dry at nightfall — which is what current forecasts predict — any amphibians who’ve not yet migrated will likely wait for a wetter night.

April 14, 2019

Tonight has the makings of a Big Night! Update at 6 p.m.: The predicted timing of the rain has shifted, and may not arrive until 11 p.m. Whenever the rain starts, amphibians will be on the move, but it may not be until late tonight. If it’s raining after dark where you are, grab your reflective vest and flashlight, and head on out to your nearest crossing! If you go, don’t forget to tell us what you found out there.

The North Lincoln Street crossing site in Keene will be closed to vehicles tonight, from George Street to the southwest corner of Robin Hood Park, as indicated by the red bars on this map. Critter counts and spot pattern photographs will continue at this site − in part so we can report on how many amphibians benefited from the road closures. If you want to join us and live nearby, it’s best to walk. Get more information on the North Lincoln Street amphibian detours here.

April 13, 2019

We’re still receiving reports from last night — we’ll post the counts here in the next few days — but it had all the makings of a Big Night, albeit one with a late start. The rain didn’t get going until 10:30 p.m. or later, but once it did, frogs and salamanders were out and about in many towns. Right now, it looks like the migration will continue on Sunday, so put fresh batteries in your flashlight and prepare for a Big Night!

April 12, 2019

Tonight’s forecast looks very promising for a migration, but the rain isn’t expected to arrive until 9 or 10 p.m., and the critters won’t start moving until the rain gets going. Late-night traffic might be heavier tonight because it’s a weekend, so if you’re a night owl and up for the adventure, don your reflective vest and head out to your nearest crossing whenever the rain arrives! If tonight’s action is too late for you, don’t fret. Sunday is also looking incredibly promising for a Big Night.

The North Lincoln Street crossing site in Keene will be closed to vehicles tonight, from George Street to the southwest corner of Robin Hood Park, as indicated by the red bars on this map. Critter counts and spot pattern photographs will continue at this site − in part so we can report on how many amphibians benefited from the road closures. If you want to join us and live nearby, it’s best to walk. Get more information on the North Lincoln Street amphibian detours here.

April 11, 2019

Precipitation and temperature both look quite salamander-friendly for tomorrow night, but it’ll be a late one, as the rain may not arrive in earnest until 10 or 11 p.m. That timing could change, so check back again tomorrow before deciding whether or not to caffeinate for a late night on the roads! Looking ahead, both Sunday and Monday also show great promise for potentially Big Nights.

April 9, 2019

UPDATE at 5:45 p.m. The latest forecast shows tonight’s temperatures lingering in the mid-30s until 9 p.m. or later, when they’ll rise only into the upper 30s at most locations. By then, roads will be drying. A few cold-hearty wood frogs or Jefferson salamanders could make their move, but a significant migration is unlikely. For this reason, we’re downgrading tonight’s forecast from “orange” to “red” and keeping our fingers crossed for Friday.

This afternoon’s rain will be right on the edge, both for timing and temperature. Current projections show a period of rain starting at 4:30 p.m. and ending just before nightfall, with temperatures hovering around 39-40° in Keene, Winchester, and other warm, low-elevation areas. Given that temperatures were mostly in the 30s — chilly, even for wood frogs! — both yesterday and today, and that the rain is not expected to continue after dark, a Big Night is unlikely. However, some migration is possible on wet roads at warmer, low-elevation sites. Peterborough, Nelson, and even Jordan Road in Keene will likely be too cold.

Bottom line: if the ground at your nearest crossing site is wet at nightfall and temperatures are hovering at or above 40°, grab your reflective vest and flashlight, and head out to see what you can see. If the ground is dry or temperatures are in the 30s, sit tight, as that’s what the amphibians will be doing. Friday is our next best chance for a migration…and a good one at that!

April 8, 2019

UPDATE at 6:15 p.m. The latest forecast shows tonight’s temperatures lingering in the 30s until 10 p.m. or later, when roads will surely have dried. A few cold-hearty wood frogs or Jefferson salamanders could make their move, but a significant migration is unlikely. For this reason, we’re downgrading tonight’s forecast from “orange” to “red” and keeping our fingers crossed for tomorrow or — more likely — Friday.

The ground has finally thawed in many places throughout the Monadnock Region, and temperature and rain were both on target, so the first big amphibian migration of the year likely took place in the very wee hours last night — not so thrilling for us, as it happened while we were all slumbering away, but a boon for the amphibians, who had less vehicle traffic to contend with.

Today and tomorrow both present opportunities for continuing migration, but neither is a sure thing. Timing is everything. Today’s rain is currently expected to move out mid-afternoon. If the showers linger and the ground stays damp after dark, a migration is quite likely. If the ground has dried by nightfall, the amphibians will likely sit tight. Tuesday presents a similar situation, with the added challenge of cooler temperatures. A few degrees in either direction could make a big difference.

Bottom line: tonight and/or tomorrow, if the ground at your nearest crossing site is still wet at nightfall and temperatures are hovering at or above 40°, grab your reflective vest and flashlight, and head out to see what you can see! If the ground is dry or it’s dipped down into the mid-30s, sit tight, as that’s what the amphibians will be doing. After Tuesday, Friday looks like our next best chance for a migration.

April 7, 2019

Rain is expected move in after midnight tonight and stay through tomorrow afternoon. Temperatures will be frog-friendly, but timing is everything. Tonight’s late-night rains will likely prompt a migration while we’re all aslumber — a boon for the amphibians, who’ll have far less vehicle traffic to deal with. The current forecast calls for tomorrow’s rain to end by 2 p.m. or so. If the ground stays wet after dark on Monday night, we could see a migration. If the ground dries, amphibians movement will dry up too. Tuesday is also a possibility. Right now, rain looks more likely on Tuesday night than on Monday, but temperatures will be right on the cusp. A few degrees in either direction could make a big difference…

April 6, 2019

Last night’s snow (!!) did not have the makings of  Big, Medium, or even a Small Night. The next round of rain is expected move in after midnight on Sunday and stay through Monday afternoon. Temperatures will be frog-friendly, but timing is everything. Sunday’s late-night rains will likely prompt a migration while we’re all aslumber — a boon for the amphibians, who’ll have far less vehicle traffic to deal with. The current forecast calls for Monday’s rain to end by 3 p.m. or so. If the ground stays wet after dark on Monday night, we could see a migration. If the ground dries, the amphibians will likely wait for a wetter night.

Timing, as always, is key. If the rain lingers longer on Monday, we could be in for a Big Night. If it moves through earlier than expected, the migration potential could dry up too. As is often the case, the weather forecast is changing daily, so keep checking back for the latest predictions!

April 5, 2019

Rain seems certain tonight, but it’ll be a cold rain, mixed with snow at times. A few cold-hardy wood frogs and Jefferson salamanders could make their move, but a Big Night is unlikely. If you decide to head out in search of those heartiest amphibians, be sure to dress warm, wear your reflective vest, and let us know what you find!

Looking ahead, Monday shows promise. Things could always change, but the current weather forecast calls for 50° rain on Monday afternoon, followed by a 50% chance of showers after dark. Stay tuned to see if that will be our first Big Night of 2019…

April 4, 2019

We’re now looking ahead to both Friday and Monday as possibilities for a migration. On Friday, evening rain looks likely, but temperatures at sundown will be hovering right around 40°, dropping into the 30s by 8 p.m. or so. A few degrees in either direction could make a big difference! If things warm up and temperatures linger in the low 40s through the evening hours, we could be in for a Big Night. If it stays cool, any amphibian movement will likely be short-lived. On Monday, it’s expected to be a balmy 50° at sundown, with a 60% chance of rain showers. If the showers materialize, and stick around for a while, Monday could be a bona fide Big Night! Stay tuned…

April 3, 2019

We’re looking ahead to both Friday and Sunday as possibilities for a migration. On Friday, evening rain looks likely, but temperatures at sundown will be hovering right around 40°, dropping into the 30s by 8 p.m. or so. A few degrees in either direction could make a big difference! If things warm up and temperatures linger in the low 40s through the evening hours, we could be in for a Big Night. If it stays cool, any amphibian movement will likely be short-lived. On Sunday, it’ll stay in the 40s all night long, but there is only a 40-50% chance of rain. If the rain comes through, amphibians will be on the move. If it stays dry, they’ll wait for the next warm, rainy night — possibly on Monday. Stay tuned!

April 1, 2019

Roads were wet after dark last night, but temperatures got cold quick, so there was only the faintest trickle of a migration at our warmest sites. Unless the forecast changes (always a possibility…) our next chance for evening rain isn’t until Friday, but temperatures will be on the cold side then, too. We’ll have to wait and see!

March 31, 2019

On Friday, the rain ended in the afternoon, but the ground stayed wet well after dark. Temperatures in the Monadnock Region were in the mid- to upper-40s. A few folks checked the Keene crossing sites and found one or two slow, cold frogs making their way, but nothing of significance. However, just south of us in Massachusetts, wet ground and temperatures in the 50s prompted a bona fide Big Night, even though the rain stopped in the mid-afternoon there, as well.

All of this is to say: given yesterday’s balmy temperatures, if the ground is still wet after dark tonight, we could see our first migration of the year at low-elevation sites where the ground has thawed — like Keene and Swanzey. Sites with lingering snow cover or where bare ground only appeared yesterday (Nelson, Peterborough, Hancock, Harrisville, to name a few…) are unlikely to have much in the way of amphibian activity until they have a few more days of warm temperatures under their belt.

Bottom line: if the ground at your nearest crossing site has been free of snow for at least a few days and is still wet at nightfall, grab your reflective vest and flashlight, and head out to see what you can see! If the ground is dry, mostly snow-covered, or saw the sun for the first time yesterday, sit tight and know that the best is still to come. Right now, our next best chance for a migration is Friday…

March 29, 2019

As usual, the weather forecast has been all over the place! Yesterday, rain looked certain for Saturday night. In today’s forecast, that rain has disappeared. Today’s rain and Sunday’s rain are both expected to end before nightfall. If that happens, an amphibian migration is unlikely. However, if the rain sticks around longer than expected — or if the ground stays wet for a while after dark — we could see our first migration of the year tonight and/or Sunday at warmer, low-elevation sites with bare ground, such as in Keene and Swanzey. Higher-elevation sites like Nelson and Peterborough still have a bit more melting to do.

All of this could change ten times by nightfall so keep your eye on the skies, and if wet weather is on the horizon, check back here for the most up-to-date predictions. Bottom line: if the ground at your nearest crossing site is free of snow and wet at nightfall, grab your reflective vest and flashlight, and head out to see what you can see! If the ground is dry or mostly snow-covered, sit tight and know that the best is still to come…

March 27, 2019

The forecast is changing daily, though it does look like there will be some sort of wet weather this weekend. At the moment, Saturday looks the most promising for a migration, though the rain may not move in until midnight or so. If it does come, Saturday’s warm temperatures will surely prompt a migration at sites with minimal snow cover, like our Keene and Swanzey crossings. However, it might be while we’re all asleep — less fun for us, but a boon for the amphibians, who’ll have less traffic to contend with. All of this could change ten times by Saturday, so keep your eye on the skies — and on this page — for the latest predictions!

March 26, 2019

It’s too soon to tell, but we are keeping an eye on a potentially rainy weekend. Right now, Sunday looks the most promising for our first Big Night of the year at low-elevation sites with minimal snow cover, but that could well change. As a reminder, we’re looking for thawed ground, wet weather, and nighttime temperatures above 40° F. Stay tuned!

March 21, 2019

Current projections have tonight’s rain moving in around midnight, when temperatures will be in the mid-30s, which is too cold for amphibians! Tomorrow’s cold rain and snow may continue after dark, but temperatures will once again be in the 30s. After a full day of rain, it’s possible that a few eager, cold-hardy wood frogs at low-elevation sites with bare ground could make their move tomorrow night, but a large-scale migration is unlikely.

March 20, 2019

We’re still keeping our eye on Thursday night, but the forecast is shifting. Timing and temperature will be key. If the rain gets going by late afternoon or early evening, when temperatures are still lingering in the low 40s, we could see our first migration of the year at low-elevation sites with bare ground − such as North Lincoln Street and Eastern Avenue in Keene. If the rain doesn’t come through until later, when temperatures have already dipped below the 40° threshold, the amphibians will likely wait for a warmer night. Stay tuned!

March 18, 2019

There’s a 50% chance of 42° rain on Thursday at sundown, which could make for an early migration — at least until temperatures dip below 40° later in the evening. However, a 50% chance isn’t much to hang your hat on and 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 on Thursday, 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. Stay tuned!

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