Skip to main content

That's not a storm on the radar, it's geese

Migration season has arrived in the midwest.

Don't worry, all of the green and blue specks on the radar aren't Friday's looming snowstorm arriving early. These are actually thousands of migrating geese that the radar is picking up. 

It happened this week on radar near Aberdeen, South Dakota, not far from the western Minnesota border. 

The National Weather Service-Aberdeen explains the phenomenon like this: 

Thousands of geese have started their migration north making their way into South Dakota. As these birds fly over radar sites they can often be detected. One particular radar signature sometimes termed a “roost ring” was easily seen in radar images on March 16. A “roost ring” appears as birds leave their roost and fly into the air. The ring expands until birds begin dispersing and foraging.

It's not clear that these birds on radar, but it's a good bet they're snow geese returning north after spending the winter down south. 

South Dakota is known for its spectacular spring snow goose migration.  

The radar loop on this page is actually really cool, almost like a small circle exploding outward. 

We featured a similar story last July when radar in La Crosse, Wisconsin, picked up a massive mayfly hatch, which is part amazing and part disgusting. 

According to Smithsonian, birds and bugs were first seen on radar during World War II, and they're commonly seen nowadays when birds take flight at night before landing and resting before sunrise. 

Next Up

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Man dies after being shot during argument in Minneapolis

It's the 70th homicide in Minneapolis this year.

NearNorthEncampment

Minneapolis police, city employees clear out Near North encampment

This comes as colder weather moves through the state.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 4.32.46 PM

New T.J. Maxx to open in the Twin Cities this month

Opening day will kick off with extended hours.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 3.04.24 PM

Former Hennepin County commissioner arrested for DWI

The 61-year-old was being held in Hennepin County Jail as of Thursday morning.

Evie Carshare

Electric carshare network showing growth in Twin Cities

Over 25,000 trips have been logged in a six-month span.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 1.11.01 PM

Popular Apple Valley ice arena could be replaced

A concept plan to transform the ice arena is being considered.

21a171abc8c6a3619739a786eed516a563206c38bec4a972944e80fa213b9ab6

Low river levels bring cancellations for St. Paul-New Orleans Viking cruises

The low water also impacted some barge traffic making its way down the river.

10.6 Tempest Weather Thumbnail

Drought tightens grip as Twin Cities reaches 'extreme' level

By this time last year, drought was fading fast in Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 11.23.49 AM

Woman missing since car crash has been found

The 49-year-old is believed to have been driving when the crash happened.

COVID-19 vaccine testing Mall of America

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for the week ending Tuesday, Oct. 4

The 7-day average number of cases has been dropping.

Related

Screen Shot 2019-06-11 at 7.18.33 AM

That's not rain on Duluth's weather radar – it's birds

Meteorologists in Duluth were curious what the blue blob on radar was.

Screen Shot 2021-10-20 at 9.37.24 AM

Here's what the future radar shows; 'a few robust' storms possible

Rain is on the way. Some hail is also possible in stronger storms.

weather radar

With radar down, here's how to check for storms near Twin Cities

Your typical go-to radar sites might be down for a few weeks.

weather radar

Duluth weather radar down rest of August; Twin Cities next

Hardware upgrades are taking the weather radars out of service for lengthy stretches.

Twin Cities weather radar picks up 'interesting phenomenon'

The bright colors aren't a signature of rain or thunderstorms.

snow, snowplow

Weekend winter storm: It's coming, but where will it hit?

The bulk of the storm could hit Saturday night and Sunday.

Snow totals boosted, winter storm warnings extended

Get ready for Minnesota's first big snowstorm of the season.