What sounded like sonic booms in the North Myrtle Beach area Wednesday night were probably made by fighter jets from Shaw Air Force Base conducting routine training exercises, an official said.

Shaw F-16 pilots are conducting night training this week and were flying off the coast of the Grand Strand between 10:30 p.m. and 11:15 p.m. Wednesday, said Judy Lewis with the public affairs division of Shaw Air Force Base.

The jets are authorized to reach supersonic speeds and cross the sound barrier if they are more than 10,000 feet up and at least 15 miles offshore. When that occurs a boom is often heard if atmosphere conditions are right and allow the sound to travel, Lewis said.

''The sound does carry,'' she said.