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Fri Sep 13, 2019, 04:39 PM

Weather radar is picking up swarms of dragonflies from the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic

Hand me my Sharpie. We'll take care of those so-called "dragonflies" in no time.

Seriously, I saw a whole bunch of birds flying around the bus bays at the Pentagon on Wednesday evening, in a place where I don't usually see birds flying around. I wonder if they were after dragonflies.

NEW: Weather radar is picking up swarms of dragonflies from the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic:



Um, actually, that is a damselfly.



Well, anyway:

Capital Weather Gang Analysis
Weather radar is picking up swarms of dragonflies from the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic
When skies have been rain-free, radar is seeing big bugs.

By Matthew Cappucci, Meteorologist, Capital Weather Gang
September 13 at 4:12 PM

A glance at weather radar in the Midwest on Tuesday might have had you reaching for the umbrella. The only problem? It was a clear sunny day.

The likely culprit couldn’t have been rain. In fact, it probably wasn’t even meteorological. There’s a strong chance that these signatures came from dragonflies.

Social media video emerged showing swarms of dragonflies descending across the eastern third of the nation. From Ohio and Indiana to New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia, witnesses have reported the migrating dragonflies. And Doppler weather radar has likely detected the bugs as well.

This is not rain being observed by the radars across IN/OH/PA today. Care to take a guess as to what is traversing the region?



....

Differential reflectivity reports data back as a number between negative-7.9 and +7.9. If an object is as tall as it is wide, it will reflect a zero signal. But for objects wider than they are tall, that number skews positive. Within the cloud of radar returns over Ohio Tuesday evening, differential reflectivity values ranged between positive 5 and 6. That means we’re likely talking something with a decent width compared to its height. Like, say, a swarm of dragonflies.



Differential reflectivity sees a lot of high values, plotted in pink. That represents a slurry of objects wider than they are tall. (NOAA/GR2 Analyst/Matthew Cappucci)

Robert LaPlante is the science and operations officer at the National Weather Service in Cleveland. He says there is a good chance that dragonflies contributed to the radar returns, but weren’t solely responsible. “Record high temperatures likely allowed them to fly higher,” he said. That makes it easier for radar to detect them.
....

Matthew Cappucci is a meteorologist for Capital Weather Gang. He earned a B.A. in atmospheric sciences from Harvard University in 2019, and has contributed to The Washington Post since he was 18. He is an avid storm chaser and adventurer, and covers all types of weather, climate science, and astronomy. Follow https://twitter.com/MatthewCappucci

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Reply Weather radar is picking up swarms of dragonflies from the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Sep 2019 OP
at140 Sep 2019 #1
luvs2sing Sep 2019 #2
TubbersUK Sep 2019 #3
MuseRider Sep 2019 #4

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Sep 13, 2019, 04:49 PM

1. My backyard here in NE Florida is full of dragon flies, and they are HUGE!

But as far as I know, they cause no problems, and may actually eat mosquitoes.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Sep 13, 2019, 04:53 PM

2. We've had swarms in our yard before.

It’s freaky and fascinating. And always at this time of year.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Sep 13, 2019, 05:02 PM

3. We've had an unusually high number in my corner of the UK this season n/t

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Sep 13, 2019, 06:12 PM

4. My house is about 80 feet up from our big pond.

The last bunch of years in drought we hardly saw any but it is wet here in Northeastern Kansas and yes, they are like dive bombers. I have never taken the time to learn the differences between them but every kind I have ever seen is here in large numbers. The big ones would leave a mark if they hit you. Good thing, we were warned that we were in a high risk for West Nile because of the rain and the mosquitoes are finally starting to make a showing. I have not seen a single one out here on the farm where it is almost tropical at the moment, every pond is full up. I had a hard time telling the dragpnflies from the hummingbirds for a while. Eat those mosquitoes little dragons. Eat them up, every one.

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