NASA has gotten pretty good at using satellites to track natural disasters; and a tornado that twisted through the south was no different.
Like it has done previously with earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis, a NASA satellite has captured a devastating natural disaster from a space satellite. An image acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) from NASA's Aqua satellite on April 28, distinctly shows three tornado tracks in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
The tracks are pale brown trails where green trees and plants have been uprooted, leaving disturbed ground. The faint center track runs from southwest of Tuscaloosa, through the gray city, and extends northeast towards Birmingham. There are two other tracks, both parallel to the middle one.
The tornados ravaged through Alabama and a few other southern states and thus far have killed 318 people, which is the highest tornado-related death toll in the U.S. since 1932. President Barack Obama visited the disaster site in Alabama and said he had never seen devastation like this.
Another satellite image from NASA shows tornados in Georgia. One of the tornados covered at least four counties and about 30 miles, while the other covered about 20 miles. Both had winds of up to 140 miles wide.
Follow Gabriel Perna on Twitter at @GabrielSPerna