Yes. You read that right. On October 5th, the radar at the National Weather Service Office in Norman, Oklahoma detected a swarm of butterflies being pushed along by a strong fall cold front.
What looked like a thin line of storms were actually thousands of Monarch butterflies being driven southward (as well as hundreds of feet UPWARD) by dense cold air along a cold front which was diving from Oklahoma into Texas.
Many mid-Missourians have sent in photos and messages on Facebook asking us about all the dragonflies and Monarch butterflies which have become much more numerous across the area in the past several weeks. The butterflies and dragonflies begin their quest southward this time of year (between September & November) to avoid the cold doldrums of winter and sometimes they get a bit of help from Mother Nature!
Video Courtesy of Kurt Wallace – Southern Boone County near Smith Hatchery Rd.
You may be wondering how radar can even pick up on these tiny little creatures trek to warmer weather– well, it’s the same way we pick up on rain or storms on radar. Electronic impulses are sent out by the radar dish which will travel until they hit something. Some of that energy will then be reflected back to the dish and be processed by a computer which will then print the data out in software that meteorologists can use to detect storms or in this case… butterflies.
This type of activity being picked up on radar is fairly common this time of year as strong cold fronts tend to happen with more frequency as we transition seasons.
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