3 May 2011

Tornado Hits Auckland! Alabama EF 5 Track visible from space!

Posted by Dan Satterfield

Tornadoes in the Southern Hemisphere mainly rotate clockwise (about 99%) which is just the opposite of those in the Northern Hemisphere. Two fatalities were reported with this tornado, and yes they are very rare in New Zealand.

NASA has released an incredible image from the Aqua satellite showing the path of the EF 5 tornado that was on the ground for 132 miles from near Hackleburg, AL to Franklin County, TN.


Image from NASA Aqua satellite. I have added some arrows to make the damage path easier to see. You will need to click and look at full resolution.


The tornado outbreak in Alabama and the southeast USA last week brings up a question of what this event will be called. Meteorologists have long referred to the outbreak of April 3 1974 as the “super outbreak” but this event was far worse. As it was underway, I was thinking that we were being hit by a swarm of tornadoes, so my vote is for naming this event the “super swarm”. It far surpassed the outbreak of 1974 and that is something that most meteorologists would have doubted was possible.

Including this one.