Ladybug ‘Bloom’ Shows Up On National Weather Service Radar

Goliath beetle

Ladybug ‘Bloom’ Shows Up On National Weather Service Radar

A huge blob that appeared on the United States' National Weather Service's radar wasn't a rain cloud, but a massive swarm of ladybirds over Southern California.

NWS San Diego shared a radar map of the unusual phenomenon that occurs every year in places like Wrightwood, California.

"The large echo showing up on SoCal radar this evening is not precipitation, but actually a cloud of ladybugs termed a 'bloom, '" the tweet read. "The observer there said you could see little specks flying by".

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It wasn't immediately known what type of ladybird was causing the phenomenon.

"I don't think they're dense like a cloud", he said.

The swarm was estimated to be about 80 miles in diameter, and was flying between 3,000 and 5,000 feet. The chaff was emitted during military testing and, according to weather officials, atmospheric conditions caused it to linger long enough to show up on radar. The most concentrated mass was roughly 10 miles wide.

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Radar doesn't say exactly what's showing up, so that's when the agency reached out to weather spotters, who said they believed the event was a bloom of the bugs. Lady beetles typically migrate down from the Sierra Nevada in early spring into the valleys in order to eat aphids and mate.

But by the early summer, once the aphid numbers decline, they migrate to higher elevations, according to the program.

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