Weather Blog

See the deadly tornadic thunderstorms form from space

See the deadly tornadic thunderstorms form from space
Courtesy: NOAA

When those thunderstorms formed that spawned the deadly tornadoes across the south earlier thsi week formed, some of them reached incredible heights over 50,000 feet tall -- thats' nearly 10 miles high!

I went and found a satellite loop of the storms as they erupted across the south. The loop spans April 27 and into April 28.

Some cloud detail fades in and out on the loop between daylight and nighttime -- I think this is a composite of both infrared and visible satellite imagery.

And here is a zoomed in high-resolution image of the thunderstorms. This image is taken just once a day and it appears this photo was taken earlier in the day before the storms really started to rage.

(This doesn't have the state boundaries on it for reference, but if you look in the bottom right corner, you can see the northwestern coastline of Florida.)

Just how many tornadoes are in those clouds? Dozens to hundreds. The National Weather Service says overall between Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, some 288 tornadoes were reported. (That's preliminary numbers. It'll take some time to sort through all of the reports -- it's likely some tornadoes are being counted more than once.)

They also compiled several statistics on the tornadoes. Among them, they think it's the sixth deadliest day in U.S. History, stretching back to 1680. I don't know if that is just tornadoes, just weather-related fatalities, or if that includes all natural disasters.