By: Erika Stanish/KDKA-TV
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Mother Nature could have been behind 2022 getting off with a boom.READ MORE: Charges Held Against Man Accused Of Trying To Grab Girl At Coraopolis Bus Stop
A loud, unexplainable boom could be heard throughout the region on Saturday morning.
The National Weather Service has said the cause is most likely, but unconfirmed, a meteor explosion.
The loud explosion heard over SW PA earlier may have been a meteor explosion. This GOES-16 GLM Total Optical Energy product shows a flash that was not associated with lightning. No confirmation, but this is the most likely explanation at this time. pic.twitter.com/ArtHCEA1RT
— NWS Pittsburgh (@NWSPittsburgh) January 1, 2022
A lot of people took to social media questioning the loud boom and reported windows rattling or things in their homes shaking, wondering if it was an earthquake.
Satellite lightning maps, which can pick up meteors, shows a quick, tiny green blip around 11:30, which lines up with the timing of the boom.
Satellite lightning detection can pick up on meteors. There was a quick event at 11:26am (tiny, green blip), which lines to with the timing of this morning's "boom". This is just an idea, while other possibilities are being researched. pic.twitter.com/XDhCPbHs41
— Ray Petelin (@RayPetelinWx) January 1, 2022
While there are theories out there, surrounding the weather, Allegheny County officials have said the boom was not from an earthquake or lightning.READ MORE: Health Experts Issue Warning To Parents About At-Home Rapid COVID Tests
WATCH: Breaking Down The Boom With The KDKA Meteorologists
The Carnegie Science Center says it’s possible that it was a fireball that burned up and exploded in the atmosphere, causing the rumble that we felt on the ground from a supersonic shockwave.
“There’s an asteroid in our solar system that’s responsible for that and when Earth passes through the debris field shed by that asteroid, we have lots of meteors coming into our atmosphere focusing head outside on the evening of the third early then they might catch some streaks of light so if you fireworks to go with the sonic boom they may have heard today,” said Mike Hennessy of the Carnegie Science Center.
The NWS and Carnegie Science Center say there’s a meteor shower that’s expected to peak tomorrow into Monday and the two could be connected.
“In this case, it’s possible that we had a fireball that burned up and our atmosphere exploded,” Hennessy said. “Seismic activity was ruled out, as was construction from the airport. Thunder was ruled out because it was a relatively stable storm system going over Pittsburgh today.”
“It’s pretty cool,” said Shannon Hefferan, a meteorologist with NWS Pittsburgh. “It’s, you know, in last couple years, I mean, we didn’t have that type of technology to see that kind of phenomena before.”MORE NEWS: Port Authority Public Comment Period On Service Changes Coming To End
There is no official confirmation at this point on whether or not it was a meteor explosion, though odds are currently leaning in that direction.