Nighttime Satellite View of Tornado Weather

November 13, 2002


Provided by: Hank Brandli
Summary authors & editors: Hank Brandli; Jim Foster

Over this past weekend, a series of vicious tornadoes ripped through the South and Midwest, killing at least 35 people and injuring dozens of others. On the DMSP (nighttime visible) satellite photo above, taken on Sunday night (November 10), the location of the low pressure system and cold front responsible for these deadly storms can be identified as the region where bright city lights are dimmed or all-together missing. Skies are clear from Boston to Atlanta and also from Chicago northward. However, much of southern Illinois, southern Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia are obscured by clouds. The abrupt horizontal streaks over these areas are cloud-to-cloud lightning strikes, which give evidence to the severe nature of the storms that accompanied this violent weather system.

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