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Massive Chemical ‘Chaff’ Plumes Light Up Radars Across Florida, Illinois

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Massive Chemical ‘Chaff’ Plumes Light Up Radars Across Florida, Illinois

On Monday, weather officials in Illinois became baffled by a massive floating blob that moved across the state. The blob, as it was originally affectionally termed, offered up no precipitation even though it resembled that of snow squall typical this time of year.

The conspicuous blob moved 140 miles, into Kentucky. This morning, most likely that same blob is now moving into portions of Florida and Maine. No one can prove the two blobs are indeed, the same blob. Because truth be told, nobody knows what the blob is?

And that’s creating a massive stir among communities and scientists who continue to monitor the floating mysteries.

We know the blob(s) aren’t birds or meteorites. Is it chemicals?

Here’s a visual look at Monday’s first noticeable instance of the blobs.

Here we are yesterday early evening in Maine.

National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Noles was first to report the radar oddity in Illinois.

When it comes to interpreting radar events, red and yellow displays instances of snow, or potentially hail, depending on the time of year. Rain is more typically a green or blue tint.

Radar observers are picking up red blobs that are considerably high into our stratosphere, nearly 10,000 feet.

According to the Washington Post, the North American Aerospace Defense Command is monitoring the situation. According to the same WashPo article, UFOs can’t be displayed via NORAD radars.

So The Blob Is Not Birds, Meteorites, Aliens, Santa, Etc.

So then, what gives? If not aliens, what is this absurd instance of moving blobs above our communities?

It is likely a military exercise. Meteorologist and armchair weather commentators (myself) are tossing around the term chaff. So what is chaff?

Technically, chaff is aluminum-coated material that floats in the sky. Chaff could be used to, say, provide cover for aircraft or military exercises by confusing radars. The problem with the “chaff theory” is that chaff instances (not that there are many to go by) die down in less than five hours. This blob event began on Monday and continues this morning.

In 2013, chaff deployed clouds lingered above the state of Alabama for 10 hours.

It happens.

Where Would Chaff Come From?

Scott Air Force Base in Illinois or Fort Campbell in Kentucky are two reasonable starting points for a chaff cloud. But they’ve both denied any involvement. A meteorologist in Evansville says he was told that a military C-130 transport is a culprit.

Chaff Instances Are Freakishly Many

Past chaff events were not only short in duration but sparse in frequency.

This week, we’ve seen numerous instances all having long durations. Those who monitor radars are picking up chaff clouds in Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, and Florida. And they aren’t dying out (that or the chaffs are being redeployed). Presumably, the jet stream (pictured below) could carry chaff from Illinois into to Maine. But Florida?


I’m no chaff expert, but one might interpret that the events are separate, rather than isolated to one deployment. If we are seeing large-scale chaff events, the next question we ask is, what’s going on?

Are these interconnected military training exercises?

Weather officials in Florida monitoring the chaff situation show it developing over the Keys and moving across South Florida.

chaff florida

The U.S. Navy and Air Force both have stations in the Keys.

But without confirmation, the mystery of chaff plumes remains. The question for some might well be, is this affecting the air we breath? For others, concerns of covert military operations occurring may come to mind.

Author: Jim Satney

PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.

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