“What is likely to be inflicting all of the radar returns round Phoenix between 6-7 PM this night?” the NWS tweeted. “Is it rain or one thing else? Any guesses?”
Many replied on Twitter, speculating the radar returns have been bugs, birds, or perhaps a gender reveal occasion.
The NWS later revealed that it was bats–and a number of them.
“Particularly they’re in all probability 1000’s of Mexican free-tail bats that migrate right here for the summer time,” the NWS tweeted.
The radar echoes present the bats popping out of a cave, tunnel, or bridge after which dispersing all through the world to seek out meals.
Forecasters stated they have been in a position to differentiate between birds and bats on radar as a result of sample of motion and the timing.
“When comparable patterns are seen early within the morning and over/close to our bodies of water, that is extra indicative of birds,” the forecast workplace stated.
Arizona Sport and Fish Division biologist Angie McIntire instructed KTVK-TV she was “actually excited” by the radar as a result of she thought it was a brand new bat colony she was beforehand unaware of.
“Mexican free-tail bats would in all probability be going to Mexico to spend the winter,” McIntire stated. “A few of them keep over winter right here in Phoenix.”
The start of fall, when cooler temperatures arrive, is when bats are more likely to migrate.
There are 28 totally different bat species in Arizona, based on state officers.
Giant migrations of birds are additionally recognized to have been picked up on climate radar.
Over the winter, 1000’s of birds have been captured on radar over the Florida Keys.
Fox Information’ James Rogers contributed to this report.