Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Weird Stuff on Radar

Perhaps I'm just suffering from jet lag, but I could use an assist from a radar guru out there to help decipher this morning's radar loop.

As shown in the loop below, things this morning start innocently enough with wide spread clear-air returns.  As the morning progresses, however, some blobs of high returns persist, in some cases generate over the Great Salt Lake, and move downstream with the large-scale flow.

What are these blobs?  I doubt they are meteorological as there is nothing to be seen on satellite.  Dust or birds?  I've looked at the some of the additional fields provided by the polarimetric radar, including correlation coefficient, and nothing obvious jumped out at me, although I confess my experience examining bugs and insects with radars is limited.

Any thoughts?


  1. There is a large fire near Deer Creek reservoir. could the smoke from this fire have effect on the radar returns?

    1. One can often see returns from wildfires, but I don't think that particular fire is playing a role in this case, but I haven't had much time to catch up on things after getting back last night.

  2. Definitely not from a fire.
    But considering the time and shape of each return, my guess is flocks of birds leaving the lake for the day.

  3. I don't know if it's the right time of year, but maybe a fly hatch of some sort?

    Maybe birds leaving for Mexico, Central and South Americas.