Texas Tornadoes Seen by GOES Satellite

Tornadoes tore through northeast Texas on April 3, in an outbreak of severe weather that

was captured by a fleet of satellites designed to monitor the situation from space. At least six tornadoes were reported in the Dallas-Fort Worth area from mid-afternoon to early evening on April 3, according to officials at the National Weather Service. NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, GOES-13, captures visible and infrared images of weather over the eastern U.S. every 15 minutes, and captured the movement of the weather system that generated the Texas twisters. The 23 second movie runs from April 2 at 1615 UTC through April 4 at 1615 UTC (11:15 a.m. CDT), and shows the progression of the storm system that generated about 15 tornadoes on April 3. Around 2215 UTC (5:15 p.m. CDT) on April 3, the tail end of the front appeared in the GOES animation as a pie-shaped wedge that continued to thin out. It is that wedge where the tornadoes were generated and touched down in the southeastern Dallas suburbs. The Texas tornadoes left a trail of heavy damage, but no fatalities were immediately reported. Still, at least 15 people are known to be injured, according to news reports. Large hailstones from the storm also wreaked havoc, and hundreds of flights to and from the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport were rerouted or canceled. In some areas, hailstones reportedly measured more than 2 inches (5 centimeters) wide. The last time the Dallas metropolitan area was hit by strong tornadoes was in 2000, according to meteorologists. The National Weather Service uses the GOES satellites to study weather patterns and the climate. The GOES system (short for Geostationary Satellite system) is made up of four Earth-watching observatories that help with storm tracking and weather forecasting.