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Weather radar shows giant ‘storm’ of dust, bugs

texas something went wrong weak cold front second coming national weather service

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#1 Hum

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 23:07

Forecasters in Texas thought something was wrong with their equipment late last week when radar showed a massive area of rain and strong storms stretching from Dallas to Austin on a dry summer day.

“It looked like it was raining,” Jennifer Dunn, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Dallas-Fort Worth, told the Austin American-Statesman on Friday. “We thought something was wrong with the radar, but we checked our instruments and measurements. Everything was working fine."

A screen shot from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed what appeared to be large swath of storms in the area. But while temperatures in Austin hit a record 106 degrees on Friday, skies were clear, Dunn said. She suspected the radar was picking up bugs—like, a lot of bugs.

But Pat McDonald, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in New Braunfels, Texas, disagreed.

“If it were just bugs, we’d be talking about the second coming of Christ,”  :s  McDonald said.

Dust, pollen, humidity, "lady bugs, grasshoppers, bees and even a few birds," he said, were likely kicked up into the atmosphere by a weak cold front and showed up on radar as a storm field.

"Not the apocalypse," McDonald said.

The mass disappeared after early Friday evening as temperatures fell.

And we probably won't see any apocalyptic air masses on the radar for a while. According to the National Weather Service, record or near-record low temperatures are expected across Central Texas through midweek.

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