Sonic booms, not earthquake, caused tremors in New Jersey, Long Island and Connecticut

  • 8 years ago
HAMMONTON, NEW JERSEY — New Jersey residents felt the ground shake as an F-35C and an F-18 conducted a routine flight test that sent sonic booms reverberating across the eastern seaboard.

Fox 61 reports that on Thursday afternoon, a series of tremors were felt in parts of the northeastern United States, making people think they were experiencing multiple earthquakes.

The real culprit was a supersonic flight test conducted by two fighter jets near the Patuxent River naval air base in Maryland that produced a series of sonic booms.

CBS Philadelphia reports that according to a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey, there were a total of nine booms recorded within 90 minutes, from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The USGS centered the booms over Hammonton, with the tremors felt from southern New Jersey to Long Island, and the sound heard as far as Connecticut.

A Navy spokesperson said the supersonic test flights were conducted almost daily in the same area, but are rarely felt on land.

The Press of Atlantic City reports that a temperature inversion may have caused the sonic boom to be felt over a greater distance. Normally, air is warmest near the ground and gets colder as it goes higher. But during a temperature inversion, warm air sits higher up in the sky, which could be the reason for sound waves traveled farther, as they move more readily through warm air.


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