For three nights running, the satellite radar near Albuquerque has been spiking with higher reflectivity as the sun goes down. This usually indicates rain, but it hasn’t correlated properly with the few sunset showers. So, what is it? Swarms of grasshoppers.
Normal afternoon radar reflectivity near Albuquerque [left, credit: NOAA], and a grasshopper [right, credit: Mr. TinDC (mr_t_in_dc) ].
The analysis was announced on the National Weather Service’s social media accounts for Albuquerque:
I don’t know if this is creepy, cool, or just a reason to be grateful I don’t live in a region where swarms of grasshoppers are so thick that satellites can pick up on their migration patterns. Good luck with your grasshopper-plague, New Mexico; I’ll be appreciating that the hazards of my hometown may involve sudden death, but are pretty low on apocalyptic insect plagues.