Sonic Booms in the Metro? - Tucson News Now

Sonic Booms in the Metro?

By Chuck George - email

Updated by Sarah Sanchez-email

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD) - Twice on Wednesday, KOLD NEWS 13 received tweets, emails and phone calls about a loud boom.  Was it an earthquake, mining activity or a sonic boom?

The Tucson seismograph shows plenty of activity today, but none of significance from local activity.  Instead, the only clear signatures on the seismograph were from an earthquake in the south Pacific.  That occurred well before any reports of loud, shaking events in the Tucson metropolitan area. 

After speaking to the Arizona Geological Survey, we reported at 5 and 6pm that the most likely cause of the loud, glass-rattling booms was from an aircraft breaking the sound barrier.  

Luke Air Force Base confirms the flight of F-16's in a shared air space west of Tucson Wednesday. The area is used for training exercises. A spokesman says the Air Force is unable to confirm that any of their aircraft caused any sonic booms, but he says that they are capable of "going supersonic." 

It was definitely not an earthquake and very likely not from mining activity since it was reported well away from area mines.

Learn about sonic booms from KOLD's 60 Second Science.

The first reports were from the southwest side (Tucson Estates) and the Catalina Foothills at around 10:25AM.

Again, at around 8:10PM more reports came in, this time from the near northwest side around Flowing Wells and Roger.


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