California: Hundreds Report Giant Fireball Blazing Across The Night Sky, Loud Sonic Boom
“The National Weather Service (NWS) received numerous calls last night (October 17) from Central Valley to the Bay Area in California, with callers claiming they had witnessed a giant fireball blazing across the night sky. The fireball was reportedly witnessed between about 7:45 and 7:55 p.m. PST.
‘We’ve had a lot of calls about people who have seen a big fireball,’ said Stefanie Henry, a meteorologist with the NWS. ‘The speculation is that it’s part of the Orionid meteor shower that peaks about Oct. 21.’
Although professional observers are calling it part of the Orionid meteor shower, most, if not all, call-ins claimed they had only witnessed a single fireball.
Henry said the actual cause of the fireball has not yet been confirmed, and she stressed that meteorologists are not experts on meteor showers.
Reports of the fireball were heaviest in the San Francisco Bay Area and parts of Northern California, with several reports of loud booms from Santa Cruz County and Mendocino County, according to the Oakland Tribune.
NWS forecaster Steve Anderson told the Tribune that a ‘cloud-free sky and the warm temperatures that are pushing out the clouds will make the showers more and more visible as the weekend approaches.’
The general consensus among professional observers is that the fireball is part of the Orionid meteor shower and not a rogue celestial visitor.” Read more.