Eruption of Massive, Tornado-Spawning Thunderstorms Captured in Spectacular Satellite Animation

By Tom Yulsman | June 13, 2013 11:50 am

The evolution of large thunderstorms over the Upper Midwest on Wednesday can be seen in this GOES-14 weather satellite animation. Click on the image to see the animation. (Source: CIMSS Satellite Blog)

Operating in a special mode, the GOES-14 weather satellite captured a stunning animation of the birth and growth of massive thunderstorms over the Upper Midwest yesterday. Click on the image above to watch it.

The thunderstorms spawned tornadoes, large hail, tree-toppling winds, and widespread power outages.  But so far the storm system has failed to produce a derecho — a widespread, highly damaging cluster of thunderstorms arrayed in a line. Forecasters had warned that formation of a derecho was possible.

After their birth over parts of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois, the huge thunderstorms moved east. They’ve now barreled into the mid-Atlantic.

To record the birth and evolution of the storms in detail, the GOES-14 satellite was put into a special mode in which it captured images at a rate of one per minute, as opposed to the normal 15 per minute. For more details, check out this blog post from the folks at the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies., source of the animation. And for a spectacular, higher resolution Quicktime version of the movie, click here. (Warning: This is a big file!)

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Atmosphere, select, Top Posts, Weather


ImaGeo is a visual blog focusing on the intersection of imagery, imagination and Earth. It focuses on spectacular visuals related to the science of our planet, with an emphasis (although not an exclusive one) on the unfolding Anthropocene Epoch.

About Tom Yulsman

Tom Yulsman is Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism and a Professor of Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also continues to work as a science and environmental journalist with more than 30 years of experience producing content for major publications. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Audubon, Climate Central, Columbia Journalism Review, Discover, Nieman Reports, and many other publications. He has held a variety of editorial positions over the years, including a stint as editor-in-chief of Earth magazine. Yulsman has written one book: Origins: the Quest for Our Cosmic Roots, published by the Institute of Physics in 2003.


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