North-central Iowans and many people around the Midwest saw a fireball in the northern sky and it could be part of an annual meteor shower. Just after 10 o’clock Wednesday night, the National Weather Service in the Quad Cities says a fireball or very bright meteor was observed streaking across the northern sky moving from west to east.

The weather service says before it reached the horizon, it broke up into smaller pieces and was lost from sight. The fireball was seen across many parts of the upper Midwest, with several reports of a prolonged sonic boom in areas north of U.S. Highway 20.

 The fireball could possibly be part of a meteor shower called the Gamma Virginids, which started on April 4 and is expected to last through April 21, with the peak activity on Wednesday and Thursday.

A Howard County Sheriff’s Department dashboard cam picked up the meteor in northern Iowa. That video can be found on YouTube by searching for “Howard County Fireball.”

Delaware County Emergency Management Coordinator, Mike Ryan was in his tractor working in a field when he saw the fireball.

He says he noticed it getting light on the northern horizon and thought at first it was lightening, but then says he knew that wasn’t it. Ryan says it lasted five or six seconds and was “pretty cool.”

Ryan says there were several reports of people hearing a sonic boom, and a woman in Edgewood says she was in the shower and hear it over the show noise. Others say they heard a burning or sizzling noise.

Clayton County Emergency Management Coordinator, Joel Biggs, says his house shook and he called the emergency dispatch center.

Biggs says he called in because he thought it was an explosion and expected to be called into work. He says they quickly then found out it was a meteor. The streaking meteor was seen just after 10 o’clock.


Bob Fisher of KRIB, Mason City, and Janelle Tucker of KMCH Manchester contributed to this story.