LAS VEGAS (AP) — A migration of mild-mannered grasshoppers has left Nevada, but the swarm could return in a few years, a report said.
National Weather Service meteorologists say the arrival of the grasshoppers in July was attributed to an uncharacteristically wet winter and spring that is likely to repeat in at least five years, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Thursday.
Nevada recorded more rain in six months than the annual average of more than 4 inches (10 centimeters) a year before the migration arrived, scientists said.
It could be a few years before Las Vegas encounters another grasshopper migration, as rainfall totals of more than 4 inches seem to happen about every five years, National Weather Service meteorologist Caleb Steele said.
The migration brought thousands of adult pallid-winged grasshoppers from northern Arizona to Laughlin and as far north as central Nevada, but the swarms left as quickly as they arrived, officials said.
“That’s kind of what we figured would happen is after a week, week and a half, they’d move on or die off,” said Jeff Knight, entomologist for the Nevada Department of Agriculture.
The migration was not a new phenomenon and was recorded a handful of times in the past 50 years, Knight said.
It is not a naturally occurring event that can be predicted or prevented, but it did draw interest.
There were viral videos, short-lived grasshopper pizzas, drink specials and multiple news organizations covering the event, the newspaper reported.
“It went pretty worldwide,” Knight said. “I got reports from friends in Italy, and we got calls from reporters in India. That made it interesting.”
Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com
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