Massachusetts tornado left a track visible from space

This Landsat image shows the 39-mile (63-kilometer) track of destruction left by an EF3 tornado that struck southwestern and south-central Massachusetts on June 1, 2011. Notice that the track widened as the tornado made its way through the state. At its widest point, the tornado track is roughly 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) across.

Click here to expand image above

On June 1, tornadoes killed at least four residents of Massachusetts and reduced homes, schools, and churches to rubble. That makes June 1, 2011 the most deadly tornado day in Massachusetts since 1953, when one of the single deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history struck Worcester, Massachusetts, killing 94 people. According to the Boston Globe, Massachusetts state police reported a tornado on the ground in Sturbridge, Massachusetts at 5:22 p.m. on June 1. The Massachusetts governor subsequently declared a state of emergency and ordered National Guard troops to assist with cleanup efforts.

NASA’s Landsat 5 satellite – using an instrument called a Thematic Mapper – captured this natural-color image on June 5, 2011. NASA Earth Observatory image created by Jesse Allen, using Landsat data provided by Julia Barsi of the Landsat Project Science Office.

Bottom line: A June 1, 2011 tornado touching down in southwestern to south-central Massachusetts left a track on the ground that was visible to NASA’s Landsat satellite. The path of destruction left by the EF3 tornado is 39 miles (63 kilometers) long. At its widest point, the tornado track is roughly 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) across. NASA’s Landsat satellite acquired this image on June 5, 2011.

Read more from NASA

A week of rare and deadly tornadoes in Massachusetts

June 7, 2011

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