The Valley is in the midst of a late summer heat wave which features hot temperatures, humid conditions and sunny skies. Obviously, there was no precipitation Monday, but there was a lot of action on the weather radar!

Monday, a massive bird migration was caught on both the Cleveland and Pittsburgh radars. Despite the fact that temperatures are hot, the migration of birds does start to increase around this time as cooler temperatures become more likely.

According to the website BirdCast, there were an estimated 2,278,700 birds in flight over the state of Ohio on Monday. This website uses weather forecast models and climatological bird migration information to produce this number. This number was up 1,916,800 birds compared to the migration numbers on September 1.

According to BirdCast, the most likely birds that are migrating right now are the Magnolia Warbler, American Redstart and the Warbling Vireo. The migration of birds in the state of Ohio usually reaches a peak around mid-September.

Wait, radar can see more than precipitation?

You might have been surprised to find out that weather radars detect more than just precipitation. In fact, it is common to see non-meteorological objects on weather radars. Another common type of bird signature on the radar is a “roost ring.”

The radar beam is able to detect thousands of birds that take off from their roosting site at dawn. This often shows up as a ring on the radar.

Roost ring example from the National Weather Service radar in Melbourne, Florida.

Radars can also detect smoke from fires, bugs and debris from tornadoes. For example, the smoke from the East Palestine train derailment was visible for several hours on the Pittsburgh radar. Officials can use the direction of the smoke plume on radar to help forecast air quality for the day.

Radars are one of the most powerful tools that meteorologists use! They are genuinely an all-seeing eye that can assist with your everyday weather forecast.