As winter storm Pax slammed the south and northeast Thursday and into Friday impacting more than 100 million Americans, UFO reports in these U.S. regions slowed down as people stayed indoors or lost electricity, according to February 14, 2014, data from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) witness reporting database.
The MUFON Web-based reporting center received eight UFO reports Thursday, February 13, seven from southern coastal or western states unaffected by the storm, and just one report from South Carolina - which turned out to be a recalled event from 1992.
On St. Valentine's Day while the storm moved further northeast and the country began digging out, MUFON received only six reports by 2 p.m. ET, with only two of those reports from the affected regions - Indiana and West Virginia - and both of those reports were events that occurred in the 1990s.
Pennsylvania MUFON State Director John Ventre, in one of the states hit hard by the storm with blizzard conditions across the state and a 100-car pile-up along the turnpike just north of Philadelphia today, said the drop in reports is natural during major storms.
"People are definitely hearing the storm warnings, staying off the roads and remaining indoors," Ventre said Friday. "Our UFO reports do typically drop off during major storms, although once the area rebounds in a few days you may see case reports coming in late."
But Ventre said the opposite is true in good weather when everyone is outside.
"We tend to get a huge number of reports on and around the Fourth of July," Ventre said. "There's a high number of people going outside and looking to the sky for fireworks - and what follows is a tremendous number of UFO reports."
Pennsylvania is typically a high reporting UFO state The state is currently in a UFO Alert Rating of 4 with a higher than average number of recent reports. Pennsylvania was the 9th highest reporting state with 20 cases in January 2014 - while California had 102 reports - the highest reporting state in the nation.