A swarm of locusts weighing 30 tons invaded Las Vegas on one night in 2019, radar data shows

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Las Vegas is one of the brightest cities in the US attracting people from all over the world, but the artificial light also attracted 46 million grasshoppers on one summer night in 2019.

A new study analyzed the invasion using radar data and found that artificial light awakened the rather inactive insects and did so in bulk – one that weighed 30 tons.

The locusts rose after sunset and the radar bounced off the flying swarm like raindrops and ice crystals.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) picked up the scene that looked like a cloud resembling that of an intense thunderstorm.

The data also showed that the densest clouds of locusts were centered over the brightest parts of the city

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) picked up the scene that looked like a cloud resembling that of an intense thunderstorm.  Researchers used this radar to determine that there were 46 million flying insects in the image

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) picked up the scene that looked like a cloud resembling that of an intense thunderstorm. Researchers used this radar to determine that there were 46 million flying insects in the image

The new details were discovered by the University of Notre Dame and the University of Oklahoma, who wanted to understand how artificial lighting affects insects on a regional scale – previous works focused on the local level.

“Using an integrated set of remote sensing observations, we quantify the effect of a large-scale attractive sink on night flights of an insect population outbreak in Las Vegas, USA,” reads the study published in the journal. Biology Letters

At the height of the outbreak, more than 45 million locusts flew across the region, with the largest number focusing on high-intensity urban lighting.

In mid-July 2019, people in Las Vegas began to notice grasshoppers filling the air at night.

The locusts lifted after sunset and the radar bounced off the flying swarm like raindrops and ice crystals.

The locusts lifted after sunset and the radar bounced off the flying swarm like raindrops and ice crystals.

The locusts lifted after sunset and the radar bounced off the flying swarm like raindrops and ice crystals.

Each day, the number grew, peaking on July 27 to a mind-boggling size that locals called it “the great locust invasion of 2019.”

To learn more about the locusts’ night, the researchers obtained data from weather stations around Las Vegas and the United States

Archives of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They observed a cloud resembling a thunderstorm appearing on radar screens around and over the city of Las Vegas.

They then used the radar data (the size and density of the clouds) and locust data (their average size and weight) to calculate the number of locusts that appeared that night.

Grasshoppers fly around in a parking lot

Grasshoppers fly around in a parking lot

Grasshoppers fly around in a parking lot

Grasshoppers fly around in a parking lot

Residents have noticed the insects along the strip and in other parts of the city of Nevada, but experts argued people should not be alarmed by their presence

The data showed that the number of locusts at peak night was about 46 million, which the researchers say would weigh about 30 tons.

It also showed that the densest clouds of locusts were centered over the brightest parts of the city.

Las Vegas is known for its huge, bright neon signs, which attract visitors and their money. In this case, however, it seems that the bright lights attracted the grasshoppers.

It is still unclear why the locusts gathered in such numbers on that fateful night, but local weather reporters noted that the previous winter had been unusually wet.

The researchers noted that the locusts appeared to arrive in the city during the day, landing and settling on every available surface – only after the sun set and the bright lights turned on did the locusts take off into the sky.

It is still unclear why the locusts gathered in such numbers that fateful night, but local weather reporters noted that the previous winter had been unusually wet.

It is still unclear why the locusts gathered in such numbers that fateful night, but local weather reporters noted that the previous winter had been unusually wet.

It is still unclear why the locusts gathered in such numbers on that fateful night, but local weather reporters noted that the previous winter had been unusually wet.

They suggest that the locusts’ behavior is ample evidence of the impact artificial lighting can have on insect behavior.

Jeff Knight, a state tomologist at the Nevada Department of Agriculture, told CNN in 2019 that the adult pale-winged grasshoppers travel north to central Nevada and are a common desert species.

He said: “Throughout history it appears that when we have a wet winter or spring, these things often build up under Laughlin and even in Arizona.

“We will have flights, migrations, and they will move north at this time of year.”

He explained that the high presence of locusts could be caused by the wetter than average winter and spring.

Las Vegas saw nearly double the usual amount of rain in the first six months of the year, from January to June. Knight explained that the grasshoppers are not a threat because they do not carry infection or bite.