Stories tagged tornadoes


A number of severe thunderstorms have swept through the SE US recently. Some storms generated tornadoes that were truly devastating. The news channels have many photos of the ground destruction. We can see the path of the storms in satellite images. Here is a link to one of those images.

A comparison of 250-meter resolution image from a NASA MODIS instrument at 0.65 µm and 0.87 µm visible channel images centered on Tuscaloosa, Alabama on 28 April 2011 showed signatures of a few of the larger and longer tornado damage paths from the historic tornado outbreak (SPC storm reports) that occurred on 27 April 2011. The yellow arrows point to some of the paths.

Here is a link to an animation between the two channelsMODIS Image of Tornado Paths on 28 April 2011: NASA Satellite image see tornado path
MODIS Image of Tornado Paths on 28 April 2011: NASA Satellite image see tornado pathCourtesy CIMSS UW-Madison


Tornadoes, Jan1 - Aug20, 2010
Tornadoes, Jan1 - Aug20, 2010Courtesy NOAA

Tornado alley moves to Minnesota

As of Aug 20, Minnesota has had 123 tornadoes. Texas is number two with only 87. Minnesota has never been number one in tornadoes before.

State tornadoe records for the past decade


  • 2009 Texas 125 tornadoes
  • 2008 Kansas 185 tornadoes
  • 2007 Texas 198 tornadoes
  • 2006 Illinois 123 tornadoes
  • 2005 Kansas 136 tornadoes
  • 2004 Texas 178 tornadoes
  • 2003 Texas 155 tornadoes
  • 2002 Texas 172 tornadoes
  • 2001 Texas 137 tornadoes
  • 2000 Texas 146 tornadoes

Learn more about MN tornadoes 2010

Minnesota Tornadoes 2010: We're #1! Minnesota Public Radio
Minnesota Tornado History and Statistics University of Minnesota

In another reminder that "Tornado Season" has begun, a twister ripped through a small town in Arkansas last night, killing 3 people and injuring 2 dozen. Damage was also reported in several nearby communities, and more than 10,000 people were without power due to high winds. Like the storm chasers mentioned in Thor's post yesterday, I find tornados and severe weather fascinating, probably because it can be so dangerous and destructive. I think it's great that research has helped us to learn more about how these storms work, so we can better predict them and hopefully prevent deaths and injuries. Source: Reuters

They promise us that spring is coming, and storm season won't be far behind. Here's some wild storm chaser video of tornadoes and slow-motion lightning strikes. Enjoy!

A rare February twister killed 8 and damaged property in Oklahoma yesterday.

Tornadoes are uncommon in Oklahoma in February. Since 1950 they have had 44 tornadoes in February, most recently back in the year 2000.


Hurricane Ike: Taken from International Space Station
Hurricane Ike: Taken from International Space StationCourtesy NASA

Natural disaster photos from 2008

Our Buzz blog here at the Science Museum of Minnesota has a category for "natural disasters". The links below are to photos I selected from a Telegraph News article titled "Pictures of the year: natural disasters".

My favorite 8 natural disasters photos from 2008

Chaiten volcano in Chile, on May 31
Sichuan Province, China earthquake, May 17
Flood breaks a dam in Nepal, September 7
Flood waters in east Nepal, on August 24
Huge tornado funnel cloud in Orchard, Iowa, on June 10
Tornado debris in Prattville, Alabama on February 17
Brush fire in Los Angeles, October 13
Flood drowned horses in Mexico City on August 26

If we haven't had enough bad news already for 2008, here's word that we're well on pace to break the U.S. record for tornadoes in a year. Not surprisingly, tornado death rates could set a new record this year as well. Do these record number of tornadoes have anything to do with all the hot air that's swirling around these days on the political TV commercials?

Researchers around the country are testing a new radar system that should track storms more accurately, and give earlier warning of deadly tornadoes.


Flooding in Indiana forces evacuations

Storms dumped as much as 10 inches of rain on already-soggy central Indiana on Saturday, threatening dams, inundating highways and sending the Coast Guard to rescue residents from swamped homes. (The INDY channel)

Baseball sized hail in Wisconsin

A powerful line of storms in Wisconsin dropped baseball-size hail on central and southeastern parts of the state, blowing roofs off homes and knocking down trees and power lines. CNN

Tornadoes in NW Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Chicago

The storm leveled eight barns at a turkey farm near Menahga, MN. killing thousands of turkeys. No human deaths have been reported.

USA Today has an interesting follow-up on the Hugo tornado that struck last week. While there's a lot of massive destruction, there are also a lot of weird, finese things that happen, too.