Mystery Clouds on Radar Turn Out to be Monarch Butterflies

Mystery Clouds on Radar Turn Out to be Monarch Butterflies

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The St. Louis office of the National Weather Service picked up more than precipitation on their radar recently. On a clear day with no clouds or debris in the air, they tracked a large changing mass that they believed could not be birds. The meteorologists were delighted to determine they must be migrating Monarch Butterflies.

“High differential reflectivity values as well as low correlation coefficient values indicate these are most likely biological targets,” explained the NWS on Facebook.

”A Monarch in flight would look oblate to the radar, and flapping wings would account for the changing shape!”

The orange and black North American butterfly travels thousands of miles every year to Mexico in late summer and autumn.

The NWS wished “good luck and a safe journey” to these “amazing little creatures” on their long journey south.

(READ more about the sighting in the Washington Post)

Story tip from Mike McGinley

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