Tags: dragonflies | weather radar

Massive Swarms of Dragonflies Show Up on Weather Radar

a dragonfly is shown
(Julian Stratenschulte/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images)

Tuesday, 17 September 2019 01:37 PM

Dragonflies are on the move and while their migrating patterns are on par for the change of season, their massive swarms are attracting the attention of experts — and popping up on weather radars.

At first, the swirls of activity registering on the National Weather Service’s Cleveland radar last week left agency workers unsure of what they were seeing.

After taking to Twitter to seek assistance from the public, the NWS  was able to determine that the patterns were created by swarms of dragonflies swiftly moving across Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

"While we are not biological experts, we have determined (through input from our followers) that it's most likely dragonflies mixed with other insects/birds," the NWS.

It was not long before social media was lighting up with posts from residents bearing witness to the phenomenon. Anna Barnett shared a video to Instagram of a swarm making its way through a golf course in Ohio.

"I have never seen dragonflys swarm before, it was amazing," she responded to queries by CNN.

Replying to the post, a resident in West Virginia reported seeing "the same beautiful swarms in our property for about 5 days now."

Meanwhile, residents of Mercer County, West Virginia, could only describe what they were seeing as a "small tornado" reported WKBN.

"They were really thick," said resident David Hartzell about the swarm. "I’ve never had that. I’ve lived here 30 years and all of a sudden, they were coming from everywhere."

Ohio State University Entomology Professor Norman Johnson explained that it is common for dragonflies like the Green Darners to migrate south in the fall, but what stands out in this case is the size of the swarms.

He told CNN that dragonflies do not usually travel in groups. However, over the years there have been a few similar massive swarms recorded. He said weather conditions may cause the insects to bunch up together.

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Dragonflies are on the move and while their migrating patterns are on par for the change of season, their massive swarms are attracting the attention of experts — and popping up on weather radars.
dragonflies, weather radar
316
2019-37-17
Tuesday, 17 September 2019 01:37 PM
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