What in the world is a ladybug bloom cloud?
Well, first of all, here's what it looks like on weather radar:
The large echo showing up on SoCal radar this evening is not precipitation, but actually a cloud of lady bugs termed a "bloom" #CAwx pic.twitter.com/1C0rt0in6z — NWS San Diego (@NWSSanDiego) June 5, 2019
"The large echo showing up on SoCal radar this evening is not precipitation, but actually a cloud of lady bugs termed a 'bloom,'" NWS San Diego tweeted.
According to the Los Angeles Times, this was a large cloud of high-flying ladybugs:
California is home to about 200 species of ladybugs, including the convergent lady beetle, according to the University of California Integrated Pest Management Program.
In early spring, after temperatures reach 65 degrees, adult convergent lady beetles mate and migrate from the Sierra Nevada to valley areas where they eat aphids and lay eggs.
And they form a thick "cloud" that, as you can see, will be picked up on radar when the conditions are right.
That reminds us of the bird flocks that we sometimes see on radar here in Metro Detroit. Meteorologist Paul Gross showed us this phenomenon back in August 2017:
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