3-D Radar of Mystery Object That Hit Louisiana

10/16/2012 9:23:27 AM

According to the National Weather Service, a large bunker explosion occurred Monday night in Webster Parish, La., around 30 miles east of Shreveport. The event occurred near the border of the Camp Minden Army ammunition plant. “A large flash was observed,” the Shreveport, La., National Weather Service reported. “[C]itizens were shaken out of bed and windows were shattered during the late night hours Oct. 15.” The explosion occured shortly before 11:28 p.m.

The explosion sent a mystery object flying that was captured by radar in Shreveport. Speculation this morning focused on the possibilities of UFO’s and meteors before the confirmation of the bunker explosion was released.

AccuWeather’s Jesse Ferrell pulled some 3D radar images from GRLevelX software this morning of the “mystery object.”

Above is a 3D image with the lower reflectivity colors transparent so you can see the most dense part of the object. Here’s the same with the 25dBZ reflectivity level outlined (meaning that the “hollow” part is >25dBZ):

Remember we’re using the software to “smooth” the data here. The actual data looks like this:

So you can see that, although we do have a few different horizontal layers we’re looking at (the 2-D shots here are at 1.5 degrees elevation, where the signal was the strongest), clearly the software is estimating a spherical object by rounding off the corners (and in 3D mode, the strongest return (yellow) is blended out completely).

This was a significant object, showing up at a reflectivity of 42 dBZ (which would normally be “moderate rain”) but it is also a very small object, when seen in comparison to the radar screen:

No injuries have been reported from the incident. The NWS also captured radar of the smoke plume from the explosion.

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