The meteorologist who first noticed the strange sight on his radar presumed it to be raindrops. However, there was no rain in the area. The office then got in touch with volunteer weather spotters in the area to clear up the mystery. One of them mentioned about seeing “a lot of ladybugs around.” Other weathermen in the office tried to confirm that but were not lucky. Alex Tardy, who first noticed it, says, “It’s definitely not birds, and it’s not bats. But we’re still not sure if it’s ladybugs.” The radar did pick up something the size of large raindrops but it was nighttime and it was happening at a height of more than 5000 ft.

Hence, no one could say for sure what it really was.

The Guardian says in the opinion of an entomologist at the University of California, if there was a plane in the air at the time, it would have helped. It would have had dead insects on its wings. The entomologist is Lynn Kimsey who has worked with NASA and Boeing and is familiar with these sights. She went on to add that these insects do migrate in clusters but the timing appears odd.

Everyone appears to be clueless

It is a fact that such a large number of ladybugs taking to the air at a time is strange and unusual.

As the curator of a museum of entomology in Davis feels, they tend to move gradually instead of in clusters. The surrounding temperature is another factor. They are usually active at temperatures of about 60F or higher and Tardy confirms that the estimated temperatures recorded by weather balloons were lower than that.

The Guardian goes on to add the views of another entomologist of Cornell University.

Discuss this news on Eunomia

He is John Losey and he agrees that capturing the view of so many ladybugs at a time on radar is a rarity. He elaborates that huge swarms have washed up along coasts in Egypt, the UK, and the United States in the past and admits that seeing them in the sky with the naked eye is rare. He concludes, “We may never know exactly what caused these radar patterns.”

Ladybugs in California hog the limelight

According to Independent UK, the appearance of a swarm of ladybugs on weather radar screens in California has roused the curiosity of the people.

It was an unprecedented sight and those who were manning the radar tried to get clarification from ground observers. The official version of the National Weather Service’s (NWS) San Diego station labeled it as a “cloud of ladybugs termed a ‘bloom’.” The bloom appeared to be some 80 miles across, but the concentration stretched for about 10 miles at altitudes of between 5,000 ft and 9,000 ft. NEXRAD equipment – or next-generation radar – helped to obtain the relevant data. This equipment can assist in finding information related to migratory birds as well.