© National Weather Service
Interference issues have developed with the Lincoln Doppler radar, beginning on Nov. 16, 2012. In the radar image above, you can see a beam extending at a direction of 277 degrees, or just north of due west from the radar.
It may not be extraterrestrial activity, but a permanent imprint on the central Illinois Doppler radar even has the National Weather Service stumped.
A mysterious "beam of interference" has been etched into the Lincoln Doppler radar since Nov. 16, according to a bulletin on the National Weather Service website. The rogue beam extends westward from Lincoln through the middle of Mason County, near Manito, the bottom of Fulton County and onward into the state of Iowa.
"We're not sure what it is yet," said Llyle Barker, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Lincoln. "4G has caused interference before, so it might be a 4G tower."
The National Weather Service's website indicated that the problem might stem from recent construction on an electronics tower in Lincoln, but the precise cause still is unresolved. Barker said that the issue largely has gone unnoticed by the public, save for a few inquiries on the National Weather Service's Facebook page.
The National Weather Service Radar Operations Center continues to analyze the interference for a solution and offered no time frame for a permanent fix, but Barker said that, for now, the Doppler disturbance is harmless.
"It's not really impacting our operations at all," Barker said.