Monday, January 03, 2011

The BIG bird Mystery


Here's a still image of the first wave of birds, smoke, etc.  The time stamp reads 4:26Z or 10:26 PM CST.  You can see the ball of high reflectivity just NE of Cabot.

Here's one more image at 12:03 AM at another wave of high reflectivity

8:30 AM Tuesday Update... For those of you interested in the bird story.  Ryan Vaughan has a great post about it on his blog.  CLICK HERE

I will stat a new blog soon dealing with the upcoming cold pattern and potential for wintry weather.

8:15 PM Monday Update...  I was at the gym this evening and guess what the topic of conversation was?  No, not the impending arctic air next week, not the Razorbacks first BCS bowl appearance Tuesday night... IT WAS DEAD BIRDS.

While working out, I had a few thoughts I wanted to discuss.  The plume on the radar may be birds, smoke, or something else... we just don't know.  To me, it looks like birds because I have seen the pattern many times on radar.  There seems to be several bursts of high reflectivity all around the time when the birds reportedly fell.  You must remember, the NEXRAD radar is located in North Little Rock.  At its normal .5 degree tilt, the lowest scan in the area is around 1000-1400 feet.  IF it was firework smoke, it would have to be a serious display to pump that much smoke at that level.  One other element to this is the low level wind flow.  Behind the front, winds were blowing from NW to SE at a fairly good rate of speed allowing the smoke to disperse easily.  It seems like there has to be some connection with the radar signature and those birds.  We'll see what happens.

These are the thoughts I had this evening so share yours in the comment section.

I will return to the impending cold and wintry weather possibilities Tuesday right here on Little Rock's only weather blog!


Below is radar data out of North Little Rock from the night of the bird mystery.  The loop begins around 3Z (9 PM) and ends around 7Z (1 AM).  Notice there are NO storms in the area, but something very odd shows up between Cabot and Beebe.  The radar beam at this location is close to 1000 feet above the ground.  It shows a plume of something in that area for quite awhile.  It COULD be the birds.  That is pure speculation, but it does add to the mystery... leave your thoughts in the comment section.


Here's a zoomed in version highlighting the plume near Beebe.  It looks like these could be the black birds taking off... COULD.  The plume starts at about 10 seconds into the video.  The time it starts is around 10:17 PM



Brian said...

Very Strange. Can't wait to hear the answer to this one! What!?!?! ABC News Reports Possibly The Same Thing In Mississippi!?! How!? Wow!?! What Is Going On Around Here!!

Chad Gardner said...

Have you ever been to Beebe when these blackbirds are flying? It's insane! Not sure how many of them are in the area but I can see how they'd show up on radar when in flight. That's a pretty significant return on the radar for lower White County, North Lonoke County.

I'm still going with the birds slamming into the Bazzel Bubble or possibly a cloaked Klingon vessel... ;-)

Jeff said...

Todd, I would not be surprised if thats them on radar. The flock is that large! When I came home today I noticed several cars pulled over with sevral folks just watching the flock move it.My guess is there we disrupted and took to the ky at night and ended up flying into each other. Jeff

Amy said...

That's crazy! Birds on the radar?? What is that, Todd?? What else could it possibly be???

Shelley V said...

I live in the country outside of ward about a ten minutes drive to Beebe. On New Years Eve there were ALOT of fireworks going off. I stood on my back porch and could see/hear them from every direction. I even made a comment to my husband about how it sounded like a war zone! I think that is why the birds died. I think there were more fireworks that night than July 4th. Just my two cents worth.

Jeff said...

I have seen many comments about why this didnt happen on the forth july... the birds were only around during the late fall and winter months

Anonymous said...

Todd: Looking at the GFS for next week, it looks down right dangerous as you said. Not only bitter cold, but the 12z says there will be 15 inches of snow on the ground in central Arkansas. I know the models sometimes go extreme, but have you ever seen forecasted temps like this completely flopped over in a week?

Anonymous said...

I noticed that it is near Guy where all the earthquakes have been. Would a methane release gas show up on radar? Maybe the two are related...

Alan said...


sorry to change topics, but what did you change on the blog as it now only shows one blog entry at a time.

I liked being able to scroll down and see 3-4 depending on the length. Even clicking "Older Posts" only shows 1 old entry at a time.

please consider putting back the old way.

Jeff said...

I notice every news outlet is reporting the birds died from massive trauma. Could the massive trauma be because they fell how ever fall from the sky and they are just going with massive trauma? How cold was it that night Todd? Maybe something scared the birds and there bodies where scared and too cold to fly and fell out of the sky?

Shack said...

I have no clue, so I am not even going to speculate on this one.

I do have a question on tonights low. KATV is showing 23, but I heared on some local radio station around 5:15 that whoever provides them their weather forecast that is would be 33. TWC also had 33 earlier today for a low, not sure what they are showing now.

Why such a big difference??


DC said...

First Mayfly Hatch of the Year Caught on Radar

Doppler radar out of NWS La Crosse, WI on Saturday, May 29, 2010

Yes, the modern NWS radars can see insects also !

Anonymous said...

Birds are very sensitive to electrostatic charges. A simple thunder cloud will irritate a bird severley. This is why birds fly low to the ground just before a storm, to avoid the very uncomfortable charges in the air.

In Arkansas there is one of the Worlds Largest Quartz deposits underground. Quartz is piezoelectric which means a charge developes over the surface of the quartz when pressure is applied to the crystal. The charge is millions of volts but it happens so fast its nearly harmless to people on a small scale. This is how some lighters work. A hammer hits a quartz device releasing a spark.

Anyways, the recent earthquake has placed new pressures on the quartz deposits in Arkansas. This results in a massive discharge of billions of volts of electricity. Think how a small piece of quartz the size of a pea can light a lighter. Now think about millions of Tons of quartz discharging under the extreme pressures the Earth can push.

At some point, the charges below created a brief surface charge, positive charge, during a discharge event. The electrostatic charge is immense and knocks the birds out cold in flight. The birds are still alive though, just knocked unconscious. The birds that were flying high were the ones killed upon impact. Blunt force trauma. The birds that were in the trees survived. Some birds like to fly high, others fly low. This explains why it was species specific as the birds that flew high were the ones to die.

Even American Indians knew the area in Arkansas to have very spiritual properties. Unknown but due to the massive quartz deposits below.

Now, there is a huge amount of pressure shifting below Arkansas. It is not uncommon to find mass animal death just before a large earthquake.....And the New Madrid Fault is due, over due infact.

I highly suggest anyone near the New Madrid Fault to store water and non perishables for a few weeks. The standard prep kit.

Taylor said...

Thats the first earthquake comment i've seen about the 2 animals. Probably won't be the last. If the radar returns are actually the birds, there should have been dead birds scattered out much further than the 1 miles radius. I know Beebe wasnt the only city shooting off fireworks or even guns.

Anonymous said...

LR is going to get 15" of snow? :)

derek said...

i dont know how much to believe the GFS but on the 12z run of the GFS is showing all types of winter precip sun-wed next week and then the out of the 384 hr on the following fri-mon snow. I know it wont come true but i hope it does mostly snow. would love to see a good winter storm. Little Rock and Arkansas has had 3 or 4 near misses so we are overdue. If the pattern is setting up like i think it is get ready for a long ride but for winter weather lovers fun. The thing for us will be the cold air will it get here in time and how cold will the sounding be at time of precip iniation on sat or sun and wil it stay cold. Ninja and Todd id like your thoughts on this as well as you wxguru

tboyce1979 said...

So seeing the comments about the earthquakes...that makes sense when you think of the fact that in Ozark, they had over 100,000+ fish go belly up as well in the AR River and no one is mentioning that as much. And does Beebee do fireworks every year at New Years? If so, why doesn't it happen every year? I just think it all sooo strange and that's my 2 cents on that :)

Now...what's this about winter weather next week? I must know more!!!

nlrweatherman said...


Anonymous said...

Hey all you winter weather finatics hope the past year has treated everyone well. I'm trying not to get to excited because anything can happen over the next few days but Pine Bluff is due some snow! :) Let it snow let it snow let it snow!

Pine Bluff Girl

Snowbird Bob said...

To Pine Bluff Girl, Yes, Pine Bluff is overdue for a good snow, I have been & still say, that a major snow storm will effect the Southern Half of Arkansas this winter season, I really beleive from about I-40 south to El Dorado,Ark someone will get clocked by a big time winter storm...As far as the Arctic Air next week is concerned, My take on this is for a 1-2 day period Northern Ark will not get out of the Teen's for Highs & Southern Ark may not get out of the 20's for Highs, But a 3-5 day stretch of sub-freezing Temps is possible someplaces in the state. I beleive low temps could reach below 0 in Northern Ark & low temps could reach the single digits even in Southern Ark & No, I dont think yall will need snowcover to reach those temps, With snowcover I beleive the Little Rock area could reach 0 Degrees. This is not going to be your average Arctic Blast, This could be a Blast from the past, such as 1983,1989,1996. We Shall See..STAY WARM!!!

Kenny Taylor said...

Todd, Is there any way you can search the radar image over the parish in Louisiana where the same incident occurred today with the black birds???

Anonymous said...

These birds all died of massive internal injuries from a mid-air collision. They have broken necks, and blunt trauma organ damage. They collided with a massively large object that was possibly an alien spacecraft. In March, 1997, an alien spacecraft flew over Phoenix, Arizona. The governor of Arizona spent a day interviewing with CNN to discuss this event, which is widely known as the Phoenix Lights incident. The object in Phoenix was over one mile wide. The possibility that these birds collided with a similar object should be studied.

Anonymous said...

How bout a satellite microwave weapon or something?

NOAA Winter Guidance