Odd RADAR returns - Government tests?

On the KCCI (Des Moines, Iowa) news last night, they showed odd stripes that were showing up on the weather radar that was stumping the meteorologists. They suggested that it might be chaff or something like it coming from a military exercise. They showed the same stripes over Minneapolis and Souix City.

Has anyone heard anything about this, or know what they were? Is the government free to dump anything on it’s citizens without notice? To what extent could that be taken? A bit "conspiracy theory"ish, I know, but it’s odd times.

Do you have a link to these radar images?

I was a radar tech for 8 years, so I could probably comment pretty intelligently on this one.

I don’t. They’re not on that channels website, and I can’t find old radar images on the web anywhere.

Well, my first questions would be:

  1. Did other radars pick up the same stipes? Often, radars overlap in coverage quite a bit.
  2. I did look at their radar faq and they have a very nice 3d radar, did they mention the altitude the stripes were, how long and wide, how long they lasted?


No way Zagadka… The surest clue that you have aliens in the area is that nothing shows up on radar. Didn’t they teach you anything?:smiley:

Did the stripes look like this? Those are called “sun strobes” and happen at certain times when the sun lines up with the radar sweep.

From How Nexrad Works, more than you ever wanted to know about weather radar.

Cool link tanstaafl. The next page after the one on sun strobes shows what chaff looks like on radar too.

They looked like SmackFu’s link, which is probably why the meteorologist mentioned chaff. There were half a dozen or more over the Des Moines area, one over Minneapolis, and threeish over Souix City.

Someone’s got to be able to dig up a link to local radars…

Hi all, remember me?

I too happened to catch this on the local news last night. And while your guy was worried about what was happening down there in Iowa, our guy was interested what was happening here, overhead, in Minneapolis Minnesota. Like your guy, he conjectured and speculated right and left, mentioning the military angle and all that, but eventually gave up admitting he didn’t have a clue.

Pretty strange, if you ask me, especially since there hasn’t been mention one of it since. Nothing, nada. Hello weather-dude, you promised us an update!

At any rate, what we saw up here was a RADAR replay consisting of roughly three hours of… something seemingly streaming out of the Fargo North Dakota area and heading in an almost straight line Southeastward towards the Twin Cities. A couple of hundred miles all told. It never seemed to dissipate or waver from its course, it just kinda… wafted southeastward. The size of it was consistent to what’s explained as chaff in the link above, but it was hundreds of miles long. Not something you’d normally think chaff would be capable of (But what do I know about chaff).

But what’s really odd, and even had our weatherman up here scratching his head, was the origin aspect of it. It never moved. It was as if there was a large smokestack just west of Fargo spewing god knows what and sending it skyward towards us, except there was nothing visible in the sky, it was crystal clear out.

The other RADARS in the area picked it up because I saw it in the background on another local station and even punched it up on our local NOAA site (Wish I’d taken a snapshot of it, but I never knew our weather guys would completely drop it).

Again, to be clear, it resembled a smokestack type scenario of billowing smoke that started near Fargo and slowly headed southward towards the cities. The longer the loop ran, the farther southeastward it traveled. It never seemed to dissipate, expand or contract, or do anything outside of… waft, I guess. If you didn’t have the sound on and didn’t know what he was talking about, you’d have thought a narrow band of snow was slowly making its way across the state.

Very odd, but not anything I’m gonna duct tape my apartment up over.

:: In trying to help out and maybe find a replay of what I saw, I checked our local NOAA site but couldn’t find anything of interest. Maybe you could have better luck navigating their site - NOAA (RADAR on the left)

Officials reconsidering mock attack. It’s a news story from Oklahoma about a project “in which powdered egg whites, powdered clay and grain alcohol will be dropped to test whether weather radar can detect the materials in the air.” Maybe some relation?

Interesting. Was it consistent with the wind direction?

Does anybody have a link to the radar image in question?

There’s a 30-day NEXRAD archive here. Response is variable.

Looks like it was.

Here were the observations for February 13, 4:53 CMT (2200 UTC = 4:00 CMT) for Minneapolis/St Paul and Fargo North Dakota (Still can’t find archived RADAR images, even using rowrrbazzle’s site).

**Minneapolis/St Paul

Conditions at: KMSP observed 13 February 2003 22:53 UTC
Temperature: -4.4°C (24°F)
Dewpoint: -13.3°C (8°F) [RH = 50%]
Pressure (altimeter): 30.13 inches Hg (1020.4 mb)
[Sea-level pressure: 1021.9 mb]
Winds: from the NNW (340 degrees) at 6 MPH (5 knots; 2.6 m/s)
Visibility: 10 or more miles (16+ km)
Ceiling: at least 12,000 feet AGL
Clouds: sky clear below 12,000 feet AGL
Present Weather: no significant weather observed at this time
KMSP 132253Z 34005KT 10SM CLR M04/M13 A3013 RMK AO2 SLP219 T10441133

Fargo North Dakota

Conditions at: KFAR observed 13 February 2003 22:53 UTC
Temperature: -8.3°C (17°F)
Dewpoint: -12.8°C (9°F) [RH = 70%]
Pressure (altimeter): 30.12 inches Hg (1020.1 mb)
[Sea-level pressure: 1021.9 mb]
Winds: from the E (100 degrees) at 7 MPH (6 knots; 3.1 m/s)
Visibility: 10 or more miles (16+ km)
Ceiling: 2900 feet AGL
Clouds: overcast cloud deck at 2900 feet AGL
Present Weather: no significant weather observed at this time
KFAR 132253Z 10006KT 10SM OVC029 M08/M13 A3012 RMK AO2 SLP219 T10831128**

Source: Real Time Weather Data

I’m no weatherman, but that seems to jibe with something being released from a spot near Fargo and sent on its way, as opposed to being released from an airplane. That is, if it were let loose from a plane, you’d think it could take any track it wanted to (Obviously relative to wherever the plane was flying). But this didn’t, it seemed to follow a track relative to the winds.

Which, in my laymans opinion, leads me to believe SmackFu’s theory is the most plausable. It also explains why they haven’t said much since-- they probably don’t want that type of information widely known.

A WAG anyways.

  • Keep in mind that the times and date of the observations above were about the time our weatherguy was commenting on the anomaly – 5:00 pm Thursday night.

Once they’ve added dates past the 5th of Feb on there, it will hopefully show it. Good find.

Good to hear from you, CnoteChris, and I’m glad someone else saw this.

Saw that too on local radar And I live in Fargo. By the direction they were going, it looked like they were pointing back towards Minot AFB, as if aircraft from there, flying over to Mpls might have dumped something. Is **Tripler ** reading this? Do ya know anything dude?

Anyone, anything?

My e-mails to two local news outlets and NOAA have gone unanswered.

Whoa. I was in Bismarck over the weekend. Lemme do a li’l digging and see what I turn up.

Is there a specific link to the image? I’d be easier if I had something to show the pilots [sub]trained BUFF monkeys[/sub] something to look at. If it were a B-52, the return would have been absolutely HUGE (BUFFs aren’t exactly stealth, and actually kinda magnify a return under certain conditions).

It could have been that new stealth intergalactic presidential transport/fighter we’ve got in Area 49.

I’m not a weatherman, but I play one on TV.

Drat. Waited all that time, and they still don’y have the dates I want in the archive. Anyone have any luck anywhere else, or hear anything from anyone?