Weather Facts: Bats on radar

Radar is normally used to track rain and storms but this time of year we can also track millions of visitors that make Central Texas home during the warm months.

The Doppler radar goes round and round sending out impulses of energy into the atmosphere to find what is happening. When the impulse hits an object it will return to the radar dish and give meteorologists an idea of what is in the atmosphere.

Not only can it determine what kind of precipitation is in a cloud but it also pinpoint smoke plumes, wind turbines and even bats.

Bats reflect the radar energy like raindrops. It will show up on the screen as small specks of green.

So from March to November in the evening, you have to be careful when looking at radar. It may look like a shower developing but it's just Mexican Free Tailed Bats leaving the caverns looking for food.

On the radar they look like a green circle spreading outward from the cave.

The Doppler radar has helped bat research. Experts know that there are 100 million bats living in a dozen caves in Central Texas. They can fly as high as 10,000 feet and travel 250 miles a night at speeds of 60 miles per hour.


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