Mar 01, 2017
Tornado Outbreak in Central U.S.:
Captured at 2315 UTC on February 28, 2017 -- just prior to sunset -- this visible image from GOES East shows a massive storm system over the Midwestern United States.
According to the National Weather Service,
the system produced severe thunderstorms and as many as 22 tornadoes throughout the region, including 4 long track, damaging tornadoes that touched down in Illinois, Missouri, and Indiana Tuesday afternoon and evening, resulting in three confirmed fatalities. The line of storms also produced rainfall of up to 2 inches and minor flash flooding. There were also reports of hail three-inches in diameter (baseball size hail was reported in Illinois) and wind gusts of 95 miles per hour in Indiana.
Visible satellite imagery detects sunlight reflected by the atmosphere, clouds, and Earth's surfaces. That's why clouds appear white and land and water are seen in shades of gray or black. One of the major advantages of visible imagery is that it has a higher resolution (about 0.6 miles) than infrared imagery, which allows analysts to distinguish smaller features in the atmosphere or on the surface. However, since visible imagery is produced by reflected sunlight, it is only available during the day time.