Mystery Booms Rock Amarillo

Message posted by Steve Douglass on September 25, 2006 at 11:24:18 PST:

Last Thursday Amarillo was rocked by a series of booms that scared citizens and cracked a few windows. I wasn't at home the time it happened (5:20 PM) and was unable to monitor MILCOM to see who might have been the culprit. The next day, after the booms were reported widely on the local TV stations, the Air Force released a statement. This is how it was reported on a local TV station's website:

> You might have heard the loud noise and felt the shaking in north Amarillo Thursday, as Newschannel10 first told you it was in fact caused by four fighter jets on their way back to their base in Fort Worth. 
The F16's were training at the Utah Test Tactics Missile Range when their Colonel told them to get home as soon as possible. 
As they flew back to the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, severe weather in the forecast prompted their commander to ask them to fly close to supersonic speeds, a procedure normally only used in emergency situations.

Colonel Ken Bachelor is the Special Operation group commander at the base. He told Newschannel10 "We should have maybe avoided the overflight of Amarillo in hindsight, but at 40 thousand feet we felt like the most you would hear was a soft rumble". < end snip.

Now me never being one to take the military's word on things such as sonic booms, decided to do some checking. I went through the NWS/NOAA imagery archives at: and pulled up the satellite imagery at the time of the booms. No severe storms were located anywhere in the area. There was a large spinning low pressure area in Kansas and and severe storms in Oklahoma, but none in the Amarillo or Ft Worth area.

To be sure there weren't any small storms that might not show up on the GOES satellite images, I decide to check the storm reports archives at the Storm Prediction Center :

Again no severe storms reported in the Amarillo or Ft Worth area or anywhere in between.

Draw your own conclusion here.

-Steve Douglass

Attached link:


[ Discussion Forum Index ] [ FAQ ]