NASA satellite sees tornado tracks in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (w/ video)

May 02, 2011 By Holli Riebeek

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 NASA’s Aqua satellite on April 28, three tornado tracks are visible through and around the city.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

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 were part of a larger weather pattern that produced more than 150 tornadoes across six states, said the National Service. The death toll had nearly reached 300 on April 29, making the outbreak the deadliest in the United States since 1974.

Explore further: Viruses take down massive algal blooms, with big implications for climate

Related Stories

NWS: NE Mississippi tornado was highest-rated EF-5

Apr 30, 2011

(AP) -- At least one of the massive tornadoes that killed hundreds across the South this week was a devastating EF-5 storm, according to an analysis Friday by the National Weather Service, which suspects ...

Killer twisters likely among largest, strongest

Apr 29, 2011

Some of the killer tornadoes that ripped across the South may have been among the largest and most powerful ever recorded, experts suggested, leaving a death toll that is approaching that of a tragic "super ...

Study: New radar system cut tornado deaths

Jun 29, 2005

A study finds that the number of tornado casualties in the United States has fallen by half since a network of Doppler weather radar was installed 10 years ago.

Recommended for you

Severe drought is causing the western US to rise

2 hours ago

The severe drought gripping the western United States in recent years is changing the landscape well beyond localized effects of water restrictions and browning lawns. Scientists at Scripps Institution of ...

A NASA satellite double-take at Hurricane Lowell

2 hours ago

Lowell is now a large hurricane in the Eastern Pacific and NASA's Aqua and Terra satellites double-teamed it to provide infrared and radar data to scientists. Lowell strengthened into a hurricane during the ...

Arctic sea ice influenced force of the Gulf Stream

4 hours ago

The force of the Gulf Stream was significantly influenced by the sea ice situation in the Fram Strait in the past 30,000 years. Scientists at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

omatumr
1 / 5 (2) May 03, 2011
Thanks for the news.

Now that NASA is collecting such information, I hope that NASA will also start looking for correlations between solar events and events here on Earth.

That information would be much, much more valuable to taxpayers than imaginative stories about exotic stellar objects and far-fetched theoretical speculations about the far reaches of space.

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel