First Crop Circle in the Sky?

By | February 13, 2014

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A strange S-shaped formation which appeared on weather bureau radar off the West Australian coast was not caused by cloud, the bureau says.

The shape was spotted on the weather bureau’s radar map on Wednesday about 30 kilometres west of Rottnest.

After checking the satellite, the bureau’s Neil Bennett ruled out the phenomenon being caused by cloud.

“There’s no cloud, there’s nothing to produce a rain echo, … which we do see a lot, but not this particular shape,” he said.

“They don’t take on S shapes and things like that.

“The radar that we use are there for the detection of precipitation, it’s basically just a beam going out and hitting the rain droplets or ice particles from hail.

“Sometimes the beam itself rather than going straight it gets bent back to earth and you start to pick up reflections from the ocean, rather than rain droplets.”

The ABC has asked the Department of Defence whether there are military operations off the coast which may interfere with radar activity.

The department is yet to comment.

The WA Weather Group has seized on the photo and retweeted it to their followers.

“Nice that our pet #RottNessMonster has avoided the shark baits. Her name is Susan & she likes to eat plankton,” the group tweeted.

“And I, for one, welcome our new giant sea serpent overlords,” Perth Sunrise Prints tweeted.

via ABC

What was the mysterious S on weather bureau radar? We still don’t know.

The formation was dubbed the ‘Rott Nest Monster’ on social networking websites.

A source with knowledge about weather phenomena told news.com.au blips on the weather radar are common and are sometimes caused by flocks of birds and insects.

via News

Update 2018: This one was eventually explained according to one paper.

In an interview with the ABC, meteorologist Neil Bennett said the phenomenon could not have been a cloud. “They don’t take on S shapes and things like that,” he said.

“The radar that we use are there for the detection of precipitation, it’s basically just a beam going out and hitting the rain droplets or ice particles from hail.

“Sometimes the beam itself rather than going straight it gets bent back to earth and you start to pick up reflections from the ocean, rather than rain droplets,” he added.

But the Department of Defence today confirmed that the enigmatic snake was in fact caused by a military exercise.

A spokesman for the Department of Defence told ABC News that the exercise was a regular training activity involving ships and aircraft designed to prepare a Navy warship for an operational deployment.

“The environmental conditions over the West Australian coast at the time of the activity provided a unique opportunity for this routine activity to be visible on the weather radar display,” he said.

“This exercise is ongoing.”

via Independent

 

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