Sunday, June 05, 2011

NASA Satellite Data Reveals Joplin Tornado Track

The image shows the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer, or ASTER, satellite data acquired on May 30, 2011, showing the damage track resulting from for the EF-5 tornado associated with the May 22, 2011, Joplin, Mo. storm. The complex pattern of ASTER data indicate variability in land use characterized by colors in this three-channel composite. Vegetated areas are shown in red and green, urban areas are aqua and the damage track from the tornado is also aqua. Clouds are white and cloud shadows are dark in color. The ASTER data here shows the tornado damage scar, aqua in color, left by the violent tornado as damage disrupts other, more typical land use patterns. The variation in width is likely correlated to tornado intensity. The tornado abruptly moved in a more southeasterly direction to the east of the city as is somewhat apparent through the clouds in the ASTER imagery.

This image was created by the NASA Short-term Prediction Research and Transition, or SPoRT, Center at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., using ASTER data provided courtesy of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.; the United States Geological Survey Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center in Sioux Falls, S.D.; Japan’s Earth Remote Sensing Data Analysis Center in Tokyo, Japan; the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, along with the Japan Research Observation System Organization. Final ASTER imagery was produced using resources of the Nebula Cloud Computing Platform, tiled, and displayed within Google Earth. Storm survey information was provided by the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Springfield, Mo.

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