A video of the killer tornadoes that ripped through seven states April 27 and 28, 2014 has been released by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, announced in a NASA press release today. Unlike those carried on the major news networks, however, this one was shot from above the clouds.
The storm, which tore through the states of Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, has claimed 14 lives and caused an untold amount of damage to the communities in its path. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s GOES-East satellite captured images of the storm from its geostationary orbit, a little under 36,000 miles above the earth.
The storm images were overlaid onto ground images captured by NASA’s Aqua satellite to produce the 31 second video. The two video images together clearly detail the rapid and powerful development of the storm front that has caused so much devastation.
The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured infrared information on the storm event as well, and shows the storm’s injection of extremely cold air, with temperatures as low as –99 below zero, into the upper troposphere, roughly 50,000 feet above the earth’s surface.
According to the NASA press release, a large number of internal directorates, including JPL, here in California, worked together to piece the video and thermal images together. The effort to provide information underscores the agency’s task to “provide a constant vigil for the atmospheric "triggers" for severe weather conditions such as tornadoes, flash floods, hail storms and hurricanes.”
You can watch the video, and read the press release, here.