Loud boom heard in Tahoe may be related to meteor shower

By Kathryn Reed

A loud boom that was heard and felt Sunday about 8am could be related to the Lyrid meteor showers.

While folks at the National Weather Service in Reno said they did not feel or hear anything, they did see something.

“I can tell you that I was speaking to a co-worker and she saw a flash across the sky,” meteorologist Mark Faucette told Lake Tahoe News. “If they are bright enough to see in the daytime, they are slightly bigger than the usual meteor.”

But Faucette stressed that he is no expert in these matters and that it is pure speculation on his part that what people heard-felt was related to the Lyrids – which were to peak this morning.

No one at CalTech’s Jet Propulsion Lab – where they deal with matters that are outside the Earth’s atmosphere – was available for comment.

Police dispatch in South Lake Tahoe said their phone has been ringing off the hook from callers asking what the commotion was. They don’t know what the cause of the noise was.


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Comments (24)
  1. TahoeKaren says - Posted: April 22, 2012

    I heard the boom this morning. The KCRA news has been talking about it. They are also saying a possible meteor strike. Apparently louder in Amador and Tuolumne counties.

  2. Careaboutthecommunity says - Posted: April 22, 2012

    Heard and felt it at our house. No idea what it was, no chance of an avalanche right now, or blasting? Maybe earthquake? would seismographs pick anything up? I thought maybe something could have blown up at Heavenly? Generator or something high up on the mountain? The sound/feeling had a wave like quality to it.

  3. JPC says - Posted: April 22, 2012

    Really loud in the north upper trucker area. Sounded like coming from south of here. At 7:55am. Nothing shook, did not see a flash though (was looking east)

  4. 30yrlocal says - Posted: April 22, 2012

    Thank you for being on top of this….was just at Safeway and everyone was wondering what it was! Too bad I didn’t have this information before I walked in :).

    Glad to know its bigger than just Tahoe and not some meth lab or building blowing up.

  5. DKL says - Posted: April 22, 2012

    It was very loud in Pine Grove which is in Amador Co. Shook the whole house. Thought it was an earhtquake.

  6. JD says - Posted: April 22, 2012

    I heard it really loud in Meyers in south tahoe. Shook whole house. Sounded like it came from east of us.

  7. Bill Swim says - Posted: April 22, 2012

    Sounded like a sonic boom to me.

  8. DSR says - Posted: April 22, 2012

    i was walking the dogs over in Tahoma this morning around 8 and saw a larger fire ball explode in the sky with no sound. the sound did not come until about 3-5 mints after. this “fireball” was head to the west just south of home wood ski area. the explosion shook the ground and houses it was followed by a crackling sound that lasted for at least a minute. very neat probably will never see such a thing again.

  9. kess says - Posted: April 22, 2012

    I thought something fell on my house. I live in Gardnerville, NV.

  10. Matt says - Posted: April 22, 2012

    Anyone have any location or visual on this “meteor”?

  11. John Swain says - Posted: April 22, 2012

    I was out kayak fishing this morning at Donner Lake at 7:30 and shortly thereafter heard the sonic boom which sounded to me like dynamite going off.
    I thought it was a snow cannon but couldn’t see a reason for it so just figured that It might be the railroad doing some work on the other side of the lake.
    When I came back in from fishing at 9 am, my buddy (who was out on the deck of his cabin watching me fish at at the time -said that he had seen what he thought was indeed a single colorful meteor starting high in the sky with flashing tinsel like colors – greens – purples- violet – “a rainbow in a flash” traveling West from over Lake Tahoe at a 45 degree angle towards Sugar Bowl. “It was like a long piece of tinsel seen in a one second flash” he stated.
    Approx 3 minutes later the sonic boom occurred.

    This was seen from the North middle side of Donner Lake.

    Hope that helps those interested.
    John S

  12. John Swain says - Posted: April 22, 2012

    After quizzing my friend further he stated that it could have been as little as 2 minutes and as much as 3 between flash and boom.

  13. Jared Power says - Posted: April 22, 2012

    I saw some of the meteors last night which were quite outstanding .
    I heard and felt the ‘BOOM’ this morning on the West Shore near Sunnyside .
    Initial thoughts were something local but the whole house shook with an aftershock/wave which led me to think it was a plane passing through the sound barrier .
    Very curious to find out what really happened….

  14. Dogula says - Posted: April 22, 2012

    I was sitting next to my window when I saw a reflection of light pass over my hand. Looked out the window and caught a bright flash of light streaking w/nw. About 2 minutes later heard the boom. Very freaky. Wondered what it was till a bit later when people at church were talking about it! Very cool to have seen it, even if it was just a flash.

  15. sandsconnect says - Posted: April 22, 2012

    It shook my house and woke me up. We should have all meteor showers banned from South Lake Tahoe, this disruption was unacceptable and City Council will be hearing from me.

  16. Hangs Ups From Way Back says - Posted: April 22, 2012

    It was Earth day and the planet was telling all to kiis it’s butt!

  17. BS says - Posted: April 22, 2012

    I heard it in Woodfords, Ca. Thought my husband was doing something with the water lines, lol

  18. BS says - Posted: April 22, 2012

    I heard it in Woodfords, CA. I thought myy husband was doing something to the water lines, lol

  19. Jenny h says - Posted: April 22, 2012

    I heard it in Carson City. Loud! Made me stop and look skyward…and think…what the heck was THAT!

  20. LJ says - Posted: April 22, 2012

    Maybe it was Alien Craft crashing to Earth?

  21. Billie Jo McAfee says - Posted: April 23, 2012

    It sounded like the “Harvey’s” bomb….only much BIGGER, and really shook the house much longer. I waited for sirens and when I heard none, I thought a meth lab had blown somewhere and they were just letting it burn to the ground for hazmat reasons…..who knows these days? The Santa Rosa Paper had an article that said that the meteor was seen & heard across California & Nevada and the Reno paper had a person from the observatory say it might have been the size of a washing machine…..glad it wasn’t any bigger. That BOOM was loud and the shock waves after were frightening. Beautiful day otherwise. Glad no one was hurt.

  22. jenny says - Posted: April 23, 2012

    At first, I heard a loud boom like something heavy dropped from the sky and landed on our roof but then the house shook with the noise. After pausing, I opened the door and looked northwest across toward the Sierras and could hear a sound similar to jets flying in the distance, so I figured it was a jet that got wayyyy to low and broke the sound barrier.

  23. DAVID DEWITT says - Posted: April 23, 2012

    does anyone wonder why no one in THE AEROSPACE INDUSTRY WHO HAVE THOUSANDS PIECES OF HARDWARE circling earth did not know that there was a meteor about to enter earth atmosphere— and then it takes them 24 hours to identify it and where it entered earth atmos. Just wondering

  24. Irene B says - Posted: April 23, 2012

    we thought something fell on our house. Our home is on Skyline Dr in S Lake Tahoe close to CA NE boarder.
    We checked around the home after and did not find anything, very unusual.