Nasa images Alabama tornado tracks

Nasa has released some stunning satellite images, from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER), of the ‘footprint’ left by the monster tornado which hit Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on April 27th.  The false-colour images use visible and infra-red data. [Image credit: [email protected]]

From the Science at Nasa report

“This is the first time we’ve used the ASTER instrument to track the wake of a super-outbreak of tornadoes,” says NASA meteorologist Gary Jedlovec of the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL.

In the picture, captured just days after the storm, pink represents vegetation and aqua is the absence of vegetation. The tornado ripped up everything in its path, scouring the Earth’s surface with its terrible force. The “tearing up” of vegetation makes the tornado’s track stand out as a wide swath of aqua.

“This image and others like it are helping us study the torn landscape to determine just how huge and powerful these twisters were and to assess the damage they inflicted,” says Jedlovec.

Here’s a larger, unannotated, image of the tornado groundtrack

And an even more stunning image clearly showing the tracks of three tornados crossing Alabama, the central track is the one detailed above.