The 88D Doppler radar is primarily used to detect the location and strength of precipitation across the United States. However, due to its sensitivity, it often can pick up dust, birds, pollution, vehicles, and insects. This was perhaps the case on the morning of July 27, 2010 across the central plains. The KOAX radar captured some curious returns from around 515 am through around 605 am, shortly before the local sunrise around 615 am. Note the parallel streaks on the radar images below, that were aligned with the overall mean winds aloft around 1km above ground level (second image). The radar returns seems to correlate well to bodies of water, and especially seem to match the Missouri and Platte rivers, but other smaller radar streaks can also be traced to local lakes as well. In addition, other 88D radars across the plains were showing similar characteristics too.
Mayflies are an important part of the food chain and are an important food source for many species of fish. There are hundreds of species of mayflies in North America. While they typically hatch in the Spring or Fall, several species also hatch during the middle of the Summer. Often, a particular species of mayfly will hatch all at once since the typical lifespan of a mayfly is only about a day or two.
So, was this a mayfly hatch that was captured by the radar early on the morning of July 27, 2010? Or was this some other phenomenon? We may never know for sure.
KOAX 88D Radar July 27, 2010 515 am to 605 am