A Satellite View of Tornado Scars | Science | Smithsonian
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A Satellite View of Tornado Scars

Last week's devastating tornadoes have left indelible marks on not only the lives of people throughout the South, but also the Earth itself. This image was acquired by NASA's Aqua satellite on April 27 and shows the tracks of three tornadoes near Tuscaloosa, Alabama.The tracks are pale brown trails...

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Last week's devastating tornadoes have left indelible marks on not only the lives of people throughout the South, but also the Earth itself. This image was acquired by NASA's Aqua satellite on April 27 and shows the tracks of three tornadoes near Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

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 lies 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.


Despite all we know about tornadoes and other forms of severe weather, this latest event emphasizes how much more we still have to learn.



( HT: Bad Astronomy)
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About Sarah Zielinski
Sarah Zielinski

Sarah Zielinski is an award-winning science writer and editor. She is a contributing writer in science for Smithsonian.com and blogs at Wild Things, which appears on Science News.

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