The cloud of flying insects is practically indistinguishable from a rainstorm on weather maps. After tracking it for a while, experts noticed that it didn't move like normal rain patterns, and it didn't match up with what meteorologists were reporting from the ground. The mysterious mass that had settled over Las Vegas had to be caused by something else.
On July 27, the city's National Weather Service office tweeted: "Some of you have been asking about the widespread radar returns the past few nights in #Vegas. Radar analysis suggests most of these echoes are biological targets. This typically includes birds, bats, and bugs, and most likely in our case [...] grasshoppers."
It may look like a plague, but the swarm is actually the result of an extra-rainy year. Las Vegas has seen 4.63 inches of rain since the start of 2019, compared to the 2.38 inches it usually gets by this time of year. More rain means more pallid-winged grasshoppers, and as they migrate north to central Nevada over the next few weeks, they'll be impossible for locals to ignore.
Videos show the bugs blanketing doors and buzzing beneath streetlights. Grasshoppers are attracted to light, especially bright white light, so the Las Vegas strip has seen some of the worst of the invasion.
You can check out footage of the swarm below.