Some residents of the Salt Lake Valley reported hearing and feeling a boom Tuesday morning — and many believed it was an earthquake. It wasn’t.
The noise and shaking at about 11:30 a.m. “was the result of a sonic boom that happened during aerial combat training on the Utah Test and Training Range,” said a spokesman for Hill Air Force Base.
According to the Air Force, F-35 combat jet pilots from the 388th Fighter Wing are authorized “to fly at supersonic speeds in certain scenarios of the range’s airspace” during training, "and do so frequently. Most of the resulting noise is not heard along the Wasatch Front, but like today, it may be heard based on weather and atmospheric conditions.”
Perhaps residents are more on edge after the 5.7 earthquake centered in Magna that shook the Salt Lake Valley on March 18, but the University of Utah Seismograph Stations was quick to confirm there was no earthquake and correctly speculated that what happened was a sonic boom.
And the National Weather Service office in Salt Lake City echoed that.
“There’s nothing going on in the weather world that would have caused this,” said NWS meteorologist Sam Webber, who also correctly theorized the noise and shaking was the result of a military aircraft that caused a sonic boom.