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Landsat 5 Satellite Sees Tornado Track near Sturbridge, Massachusetts
06.06.11
 
Massachusetts tornado track from June 1, 2011
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory/Jesse Allen/USGS, using Landsat 5 data provided by Julia Barsi of the Landsat Project Science Office.

On June 1, 2011, a supercell thunderstorm developed over western Massachusetts. The storm produced an EF3 tornado that cut a 39-mile (63-kilometer) track of destruction across southwest and south-central Massachusetts. Not only did the long-lived tornado remain on the ground for many miles, but it also widened to 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers).

The Thematic Mapper on the Landsat 5 satellite captured this natural-color image on June 5, 2011. This image shows part of the tornado track, including damage in Sturbridge. According to the Boston Globe, Massachusetts state police reported a tornado on the ground in Sturbridge at 5:22 p.m. The tornado was spotted on the Interstate 84 exit, and cars were overturned.

The Boston Globe reported that the Massachusetts governor declared a state of emergency and ordered National Guard troops to assist with cleanup efforts. Tornadoes on June 1 killed at least four residents of the state, as well as reducing homes, schools, and churches to rubble.

The Landsat Program is a series of Earth-observing satellite missions jointly managed by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey. Since 1972, Landsat satellites have collected information about Earth from space. This science, known as remote sensing, has matured with the Landsat Program.

For more information about Landsat satellites, visit: Landsat at USGS web site

For more information contact: Rob Gutro, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Tel. 443-858-1779; Robert.j.gutro@Nasa.gov
 
 
Michon Scott
NASA's Earth Observatory
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.