Lakes and Grasshoppers Showing Up On Radar

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Randy Jennings

May 18, 2013
We've all see bugs on radar before, but this is a pretty amazing infographic from NWS Fort Worth and an accompanying story from The Dallas Morning News. Grasshoppers are riding the thermals several hundred feet in the air where radar is picking them up. Since these bugs don't live in the middle of a large lake, the lake areas show up on radar with a lower signal than the adjacent land areas.


Full story at:

Jeff Duda

Resident meteorological expert
Staff member
Oct 7, 2008
Broomfield, CO
A similar thing is occurring on the KFDR and KDYX sites as well. However, you don't really see any lakes in a lack of signal from those sites. Probably due to the small size of those lakes and/or the distance from the radar and the beam height at the location of the lakes. I did wonder how these beetles and grasshoppers could get as high as they're going because the echoes from KFDR are regularly reaching 6-7000 ft ARL. Boundary layers are getting pretty deep at this time of year, deep enough to encompass those heights, so this does make sense. Imagine grasshoppers flying around at 7000 ft above ground!
There's a stream of suspected bats NNW of Altus, as seen out of Fredrick. I presume bats, as some expanding circle or plume, swarms out just after sunset most days. I found nothing on this when I googled for it a couple 3 years ago.