That Blob Isn't Rain. It's Bugs

Radar spots massive ladybug swarm over Southern California
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2019 10:20 AM CDT

(Newser) – Despite a massive green mass spotted north of San Diego on the National Weather Service's radar, there was no downpour in Southern California Tuesday evening. That's because the blob actually "a cloud of lady bugs," according to a NWS tweet. Though the ladybug bloom seemingly covered an area measuring 80 miles wide, the insects were most concentrated in a 10-mile-wide portion. They were flying at between 5,000 and 9,000 feet, reports the Los Angeles Times, which notes ladybugs spend the spring eating aphids in valley areas before moving to higher ground in early summer.

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A meteorologist with the NWS' San Diego office tells the Washington Post that an observer in Wrightwood did indeed report "ladybugs everywhere," but he adds one alternative: It's possible the radar was actually picking up chaff, which are small pieces of aluminum the military scatters to thwart radar tracking of their aircraft. (Read more radar stories.)

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