Strange radar echoes on PinPoint Doppler not weather related

By: Brandon Orr
By: Brandon Orr

PinPoint Doppler can look at more than just rain and picked up on an expanding ring over Whitley County. Meteorologist Brandon Orr explains.

On Mountain News This Morning we showed an interesting, expanding ring on doppler radar showing up over southern Whitley County. Check out these images below:

The skies were mostly clear at this time so it is not rain and, don't worry, it's not aliens! It's actually a flock of birds taking off south of Williamsburg in Whitley County near I-75. They often take flight around sunrise and fan out in all directions, creating a ring pattern. It's pretty interesting the things PinPoint Doppler can pick up on! We often see insects as well.

Bats have also been seen on the radar, but that is more likely during and shortly after sunset as they fly out of caves in search for food. That happens more often in Texas.

When there is a warm layer above the ground, mainly after sunset when the surface cools rapidly, the radar beam can sometimes be bent back to the ground and pick up on interstate traffic. It can even record the speed of cars traveling on the interstate! I have seen this several times on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in eastern Virginia.

-Meteorologist Brandon Orr (Find me on Facebook, Twitter!)


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