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Grasshoppers may be cause of false rain on Las Vegas Doppler radar

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Posted at 11:25 PM, Jul 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-27 05:52:59-04

This "grasshopper invasion" in Las Vegas is no joke.

The valley has so many grasshoppers right now, experts think the little bugs might be showing up as fake rain on the Doppler radar.

There have been widespread radar returns the past few nights over the valley, but not much actual rain.

According to the National Weather Service, Doppler radars work by sending out a pulse of energy into the atmosphere. Once the pulse of energy encounters something, like a raindrop, it bounces back.

Larger objects cause more energy to bounce back to the radar.

The NWS says most of the echoes from the past few days seem to be biological targets. Things like birds, bats and bugs.

Bugs like... grasshoppers?

Considering the timing of the false Las Vegas returns, it's not a stretch to think the grasshoppers are the cause.

It would certainly explain why 13 Action News Meteorologist Dani Beckstrom has been going crazy the last few days looking at false rain returns.