The invasion of cicadas in the region is showing up on weather radar.
If you had any doubt of how bad the cicada invasion is, it’s now confirmed by radar. The National Weather Service in the Baltimore-Washington region says “fuzziness” in radar images is caused by the flying Brood X invasion. The local Baltimore office is the first to address cicadas interfering with the radar, but it could be happening in other regions impacted by Brood X. The cicadas began surfacing in mid-May and are supposed to have a life cycle for anywhere from two to four weeks.
On Friday, June 5, 2021, the NWS in Baltimore-Washington issued a tweet about Brood X, noting a “fuzziness” on the local radar. The NWS said the root cause seems to be low reflectivity from radar beams bouncing off something in the atmosphere. The hydrometeor classification of the disturbance doesn’t appear to be water, so the NWS believes it to be biological. What is the biggest biological event happening right now? It’s the cicadas.
You may have noticed a lot of fuzziness (low reflectivity values) on our radar recently. The Hydrometeor Classification algorithm shows much of it to be Biological in nature. Our guess? It's probably the #cicadas. pic.twitter.com/i990mEBJnl— NWS Baltimore-Washington (@NWS_BaltWash) June 5, 2021
For a couple of weeks, people in Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, and North Carolina have been dodging flying cicadas and using earbuds to drown out their 90-plus decibel mating calls. Called Brood X or ten, the invasion has been 17 years in the making and is expected to last until the first week of July.
Cicadas aren’t dangerous but they can be annoying. The sheer number of flying insects makes them hard to avoid. Some people have been making light of the situation, cooking them up with Old Bay and turning them into chocolates. The FDA issued a statement advising people to not consume cicadas if they are allergic to shellfish. Also, veterinarians don’t want pets to eat them either. Cicadas aren’t poisonous to cats and dogs but their hard exoskeletons could cause damage to a pet's digestive system.
The good news is an invasion like this won’t happen for another 17 years. The bad news is the annual cicadas will pop up again in August!
Let us know how badly affected you are by the invading cicadas? Share in the comments.