Did An Exploding Meteor Shake Pittsburgh On New Year's Day?

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Monday, Jan 03, 2022 - 02:45 AM

A 'booming' start to 2022 was felt in the Pittsburgh Region on New Year's Day after officials from the National Weather Service (NWS) believe a meteor exploded in the atmosphere.

Residents across suburban Pittsburgh heard a loud boom and what felt like an earthquake on Saturday around lunchtime. Allegheny County officials reported an influx of 911 calls about the disturbance. 

NWS isn't entirely sure what caused the rumble but said data shows a flash in the area that wasn't lighting at 1126 ET. The timing of the flash also lines up to residents calling 911 about a big bang. 

"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," NWS tweeted

Local news KDKA's Ray Petelin noted satellite lightning maps also picked up a tiny streak around 1130ET. 

Allegheny County officials ruled out an earthquake and agreed with NWS that a meteor likely exploded over Pittsburgh.

Resident Jill Tarasi, 42, of Hampton Township, about a 20-minute drive to Pittsburg, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "It sounded like a house was exploding." She was working on her laptop at the time of the incident. She said, "I have friends from all over saying they heard it, too."