tornado track

Landsat 8 image showing a portion of the EF-4 tornado track northwest of Rochelle, Ill. Image acquired on April 10, 2015.

Apr 15, 2015 • [Source: NASA SPoRT] On April 9, 2015, severe thunderstorms produced several reports of damaging wind, hail, and tornadoes — including one particularly strong (EF-4) long-track tornado across north-central Illinois. A satellite image from Landsat 8 of the track, taken the day after the storm, was able to help gauge the damage.

As part of an ongoing NASA Applied Sciences: Disasters funded project, the SPoRT/ Disaster Response team at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL provided the Landsat 8 panchromatic and true-color images of the EF-4 tornado track within the NOAA/National Weather Service Damage Assessment Toolkit.

The U.S. Geological Survey and NASA Landsat 8 imager captured a cloud-free scene of the damage path on the morning of April 10. Images produced by the team were distributed by a web mapping service. Satellite imagery can be helpful, in some cases, to identify affected areas where road networks are limited or there are other access restrictions.

Colleagues at the NWS forecast office in Chicago used the satellite imagery to complement the April 10 ground survey of the tornado.

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