Swarms of dragonflies likely picked up on radar in Central Virginia Friday afternoon

National Weather Service says it’s likely either dragonflies or birds showing up on Doppler radar

Swarms of dragonflies likely picked up on radar in Central Virginia Friday afternoon
First Alert Doppler Radar likely picked up birds or swarms of dragonflies midday Friday. (Source: WWBT)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - First Alert Doppler radar picked up something unusual on Friday afternoon.

Even though it was clearly sunny/not raining across all of Central Virginia, a green blob showed up on radar south of Richmond.

The National Weather Service office in Wakefield, Virginia tweeted that it’s likely the radar is picking up swarms of dragonflies.

It could also be birds migrating south, but dragonflies are the more likely answer because (as John Boyer pointed out below) it was around the same time last year (early-mid September) that dragonflies were also picked up on radar.

A Doppler radar beam usually picks up rain or hail, but it can sometimes pick up other non-meteorological objects too, such as flocks of birds, bats, or even bugs such as dragonflies.

Meteorologist Brent Watts at our sister station WDBJ in Roanoke tweeted that bugs, birds, and other flying critters use the southward moving clear air near cold fronts to help their late summer/fall migration.

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