Weather Radar Spots Massive Dragonfly Swarms Over Three States

A dragonfly on a flower
Getty Images / Matt Cardy

With an ever-shifting climate in the world, it is common to hear people voicing complaints about the seemingly waning reliability of weather forecast apps and TV channels. But one thing that certainly wasn’t recently announced by most weather professionals was the enormous swarms of dragonflies weather satellites picked up swarming over three U.S. states, reported yesterday afternoon by CNN.

Speaking with the publication was professor of entomology from Ohio State University Norman Johnson, who shared that the massive swarms were most likely made up of the Green Darner species, which tends to migrate south in the fall.

“The big swarms have been recorded a lot over the years, but they’re not regular,” he said, going on to share how that many of the details about the dragonfly’s migration patterns are still unknown, such as the total distance traveled in migrations during their lifespan. What is known is that the Green Darners can travel some eight miles (13 km) per day, and flight distances can be as high as 86 miles (140 km). Such large swarms are irregular, and it’s typically the local weather patterns that force them into the huge masses lighting up weather radar systems in Ohio.

The National Weather Service’s office in Cleveland tweeted out the radar images of the swarming insects that very much resembled severe weather conditions gathering. So much so that it was only from help from their followers that they were able to determine what it was that radar was picking up.

The Migratory Dragonfly Partnership provides more details on the flying bugs.

“Appears in North early in spring, before local dragonfly emergence, presumably migrants from south. Larvae develop through summer, emerge in July/August, then fly south. Breeding in South, tropics in fall/early winter. Those larvae develop through winter and emerge in the spring, the cycle repeats. There are also resident populations.”

While views on the ground weren’t quite as dramatic as the radar footage, one Instagram user Anna Barnett, posted a short clip of the dragonflies swarming around a golf course in Mohican Hills, Ohio, yesterday, sharing her delight over the experience in the comments section.

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“I have never seen dragonflys swarm before, it was amazing!”

Still, the dragonfly story has to take a back seat to the prize-winner for the most unusual weather story of the week whereby Donald Trump asked the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) to back up his claims that hurricane Dorian would hit Alabama, potentially putting the weather agency in gross violation of its ethical responsibilities to society, reported by The Inquisitr.