Deadly tornadoes raked across Alabama on April 27, 2011, killing as many as 210 people as of April 29. The hardest-hit community was Tuscaloosa. In an image acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASAs Aqua satellite on April 28, three tornado tracks are visible through and around the city.
The tracks are pale brown trails where green trees and plants have been uprooted, leaving disturbed ground. Though faint, the center track runs from southwest of Tuscaloosa, through the gray city, and extends northeast towards Birmingham. Two other tracks run parallel to the center track. The northernmost track is in an area where the National Weather Service reported a tornado, but no tornado was reported in the vicinity of the more visible southern track. In the southern region, strong winds were reported.
The tornadoes were part of a larger weather pattern that produced more than 150 tornadoes across six states, said the National Weather Service. The death toll had nearly reached 300 on April 29, making the outbreak the deadliest in the United States since 1974.
Explore further: Researchers suggest earthquake lightning may be due to cracks forming in Earth's surface