Odd shapes on weather radar? Just birds, NWS says

     The yellow arrows point to birds depicted on a radar image shortly after sunrise last Sunday. (Image courtesy of the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, NJ)

    The yellow arrows point to birds depicted on a radar image shortly after sunrise last Sunday. (Image courtesy of the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, NJ)

    If you were looking at your radar app shortly after sunrise last Sunday, you saw some peculiar shapes.

    You may have looked outside and saw some clouds, but no rain.

    “Weird. What’s that?” you possibly pondered.

    Birds.

    “This is not precipitation, but it is large gatherings of birds that are taking off to set out for the day,” a Sunday morning posting from the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, NJ said. “There are so many birds that the radar beam is partially returned showing the signatures below.”

    It actually happens several times a year around sunrise, according to the posting.

    “A radar loop would actually show the circular pattern becoming larger with time before dissipating as the birds fly up and outward,” the posting said.

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