Mystery Radar Blob That Stumped Tri-State Meteorologists Revealed
On Monday, meteorologists across the Tri-State and from the National Weather Service noticed a strange "blip" (for lack of a better term) pop up on the radar just north of Evansville. It looked like a small storm cell, but there was no chance of precipitation forecast for any part of the area. So what was it? A glitch in the system? The Matrix revealing itself to us? Aliens coming to take over the human race? Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately depending on how you look at it, the cause was something far more mundane.
Just before 4:30 Monday afternoon, the National Weather Service in Paducah tweeted a short video loop of the odd sight.
Fast forward five hours later, and the blob was still a mystery.
It was nearly another hour (9:20 p.m. to be exact) before some headway started to be made.
Chaff? What in the world is chaff?
Glad you asked. While the National Weather Service provided a far more detailed and scientific explanation, the short and easier to understand version is that chaff is tiny bits of material coated in aluminum that's used by military planes to disrupt enemy radar. It doesn't necessarily make them invisible to radar, but it certainly makes them harder to detect. Watch the video loop in the last tweet. Does that look like an airplane at any point?
At this point in the mystery, there wasn't confirmation from, well anyone, that chaff was the culprit. Then, at 2:39 a.m. Tuesday morning, Eyewitness News Chief Meteorologist, Wayne Hart confirmed the suspicion.
It's pretty wild that while the majority of us on the ground went about our business, completely oblivious to what was happening above our heads. Nice job National Weather Service and Wayne Hart on solving this mystery in the sky!