(Updated at 7:20 a.m.) A transformer blowing out? A meteor? Or just really loud thunder?
A big boom was reported across a wide swath of Fairfax County from Reston and Herndon to McLean around 10:40 a.m. on Tuesday, leaving many residents confused regarding the possible source.
The sound was likely caused by loud thunder that accompanied a storm that was crossing the area at the time.
The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department reported that it dispatched units to the 13000 block of Woodland Park Road in Reston at approximately 10:59 a.m. after a building there was struck by lightning.
Heard the loud boom? Can’t totally confirm this is related but-at approximately 10:59 AM, units were dispatched to building struck by lightning in 13000 block of Woodland Park Road. Lightning protection system did its job–no damage to building! Two minor injuries. #FCFRD #weather pic.twitter.com/K0ZFmFvdxK
— Fairfax County Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) September 28, 2021
One McLean resident told FFXnow by email that she heard “a loud boom/explosion that did not sound like thunder” around about 10:35 a.m.
“We are on Brook Rd between Rt 7 and Old Dominion Dr.,” Diane Van Tuyl wrote. “My friend in Great Falls on Towlston Rd also heard it. She felt rumbling and some shaking.”
Other residents took to social media to share their bafflement regarding the possible source of the sound, which one user compared to a concussion grenade:
Shook the crap out of my house in Herndon. Loudest thunder I’ve ever heard!
— CH (@zaynadu) September 28, 2021
Heard it McLean too. The pup was not happy about it. I thought maybe a transformer blew. Cloudy here but no rain/ thunder/ lightning.
— Tara Ajello (@tara_ajello) September 28, 2021
Big flash and then big boom in south Reston. Set off a car alarm across the street
— Martha Vockley (@MarthaVockley) September 28, 2021
Last week, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said a similar boom heard through the greater Shenandoah County region was a fireball.
This time, meteorologists with the Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang say they’re reasonably confident it was a particularly powerful lightning strike that happened during atmospheric conditions that allowed it to be heard from miles away.
Great Scott! re: the lightning near Reston earlier today….⚡⚡⚡ https://t.co/4ntx7I3oqq
— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) September 28, 2021
Photo via Breno Machado/Unsplash