Navy jet breaks the sound barrier, causes sonic booms on East Coast

The Weather Authority

An F/A-18 Hornet breaks the sound barrier.

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(CNN) — Whoa! What was that? A loud boom followed by tremors were reported from southern New Jersey all the way to Long Island, New York at around 1:30 p.m. eastern time Thursday.

The United States Geological Survey confirmed a sonic boom hit just northeast of Hammonton, New Jersey. Over the next hour-and-a-half, at least nine sonic booms were recorded by the USGS.

A sonic boom travels through the air with an airplane after it passes the sound barrier, so it arrives at different ground locations at different times, according to the USGS.

An F-35C being tested by the Navy caused the booms, the military said Thursday evening. Military aircraft routinely conduct supersonic flights but the sonic booms are rarely felt on ground. However, under certain atmospheric conditions there is an increased potential to hear the sound, according to a statement from Naval Air Station Patuxent River.

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