Cicadas continue to swarm over the eastern United States, with swarms appearing on weather radar and even being blamed for a vehicle collision in one case.
The current heatwave might be a factor. "As daylight temperatures continue to rise, we expect to see an increase in adult cicada activity," Dr. Jim Fredericks, the National Pest Management Association's chief entomologist, told AccuWeather recently.
And it's been hot recently.
The blistering heat is everywhere. Not only in the Northeast, where many areas saw the first heatwave of the season over the weekend, but also in the Southeastern regions, where temperatures hit triple digits towards the end of May.
Causing a Car Accident
A cicada was accused by Cincinnati police of causing an automobile accident in Ohio. In a Facebook post last week, police warned people that they are blamed for several traffic accidents every time cicadas appear. Police said a young guy crashed his car after driving through a huge swarm, and they advised people to wrap up their windows when driving.
#Crash single car into a pole at 2600 Riverside Drive. Caused by a cicada that flew in through an open window striking the driver in the face. #nothinggoodhappenswithcicadas #cicadas2021 pic.twitter.com/0WWUM8y5Ye— Cincinnati Police Department (@CincyPD) June 7, 2021
According to police, a cicada took to the air. "He was briefly stunned when a bullet shot through an open window and injured him in the face. After that, he collided with a utility pole. While his automobile is certainly damaged, he was rescued from significant damage by his seatbelt and airbags. "According to the police, The front end of the black vehicle has considerable damage, according to photos published on social media. Related Article: Insecticides Killing Bees Officially Banned by the European Union
The 17-year "Brood X" cicadas are hatching in such large quantities in Virginia that weather radar is picking them up. Over the weekend, meteorologists from the National Weather Service (NWS) offices in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. shared two photographs they believe depict cicada swarms picked up by weather radar. According to them, the algorithm reveals that colors are biological in nature.
You may have noticed a lot of fuzziness (low reflectivity values) on our radar recently. The Hydrometeor Classification algorithm shows much of it to be Biological in nature. Our guess? It's probably the #cicadas. pic.twitter.com/i990mEBJnl— NWS Baltimore-Washington (@NWS_BaltWash) June 5, 2021
"THIS IS NOT RAIN, AND THIS IS NOT GROUND CLUTTER," NBC meteorologist Lauryn Ricketts concurred on Twitter on Monday. "As a result, cicadas are most certainly being picked up by the radar beam."
Picked Up by Weather Radar
The "Hydrometeor Classification Algorithm," according to Kyle Pallozzi, an NWS meteorologist located in Virginia, allows meteorologists to distinguish between meteorological events and insects when the cicadas are plentiful enough for weather radar to pick them up.
THIS is not rain, not ground clutter (the radar beam picking up objects close the radar site --which is in Loudoun County).... the Hydrometeor Classification algorithm identifies this as biological in nature..so likely CICADAS being picked up by the radar beam... pic.twitter.com/zTLCzynz5D— Lauryn Ricketts (@laurynricketts) June 7, 2021
"The chance that a radar beam is picking up hail, rain, snow, something biological, or more," the program says.
The activity was seen on weather radar, according to Howard Bernstein of WUSA9 in Washington, D.C., was not produced by cicadas. ", he explained "Cicadas can only fly around 500 feet above the earth... Because the radar beam is too high for where cicadas normally fly, I believe it is most likely not cicadas." "While there may be some mixed in near to the radar beam," Berstein continued, "it's probably birds, bats, or some other living creature than cicadas."
According to Andrew Farnsworth, the cicadas are likely flying under the radar, a Senior Research Associate at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. "Cicadas are often ungainly fliers that tend to spend much of their time near to the ground, much below radar coverage," he said, adding that he's neither an entomologist nor a meteorologist.
He also believes the radar photos do not show cicadas because of their wing architecture, which he claims does not permit high-altitude flying.
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