Loud Explosions over Portions of New Jersey Likely on Saturday; Won’t be Thunder
No, it won’t be thunder: US military warns of an upcoming drill Saturday that could be a “noise” event in New Jersey with loud explosions; The weather plays a role in how far the noise travels and how it sounds when it arrives. In an update released by Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, the exercise is scheduled to take place on Saturday, February 4th. Another high noise event is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, February 18 and 19 later in the month.
During the military exercise, which will be declared a “noise” event, there will be heavy weapons training for the crew using crater ammunition. The exercise may include “live mortar fire, howitzer fire and crater attacks”. Throughout the month of February there is ongoing small arms and light crew weapons training; There are also rotary wing airguns some days that use .50 caliber guns, rocket fire, and rotary cannons. However, drills scheduled for February 4 and February 18-19 are expected to be the loudest of the month.
The weather forecast for the coming days and weeks could also intensify events at the military base. Low clouds moving through the region could cause the noise to spread further. The cloud pattern in the area also helps carry or disperse different types of noise. For example, clouds from nearby, isolated showers or thunderstorms in Burlington County could help carry the noise to places like Mount Holly, Burlington Township and Columbus, while at the same time clear skies present in Middlesex or Monmouth Counties could allow the noise to disperse over a distance. While clouds help carry noise, temperature variations in the atmosphere affect acoustics more efficiently and can also help disperse noise away from its source.
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst is a US military facility located 18 miles southeast of Trenton, New Jersey. The base is the only tri-service base in the US Department of Defense and includes units from all six branches of the armed forces. The facility is a combination of the United States Air Force’s McGuire Air Force Base, the United States Army’s Fort Dix, and the United States Navy’s Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst. The bases were merged on October 1, 2009.