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News Release

June 7, 2011
Jon Campbell (USGS) 703-648-4180
Rob Gutro (NASA) 443-858-1779

Landsat Tracks Long Tornado Swath in Massachusetts


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The track of a tornado that cut a massive 39-mile swath of destruction across southwest and south-central Massachusetts on June 1 is graphically depicted by an image from the Landsat 5 satellite.

This Landsat image taken June 5 shows part of the tornado track, including damage in Sturbridge. Not only did the unusually long-lived tornado remain on the ground for many miles, it also widened to 0.5 miles.

The U.S. Geological Survey and NASA cooperate closely in managing the Landsat program. USGS conducts Landsat operations; NASA develops and launches new satellites that meet USGS requirements.

In addition to imagery of natural hazard events, Landsat provides valuable data for land use research and advances the Department of the Interior’s important role in land remote sensing under the President’s National Space Policy. Landsat images are unique in that they provide complete global coverage, they are available for free, and they span nearly 40 years of continuous earth observation. No other satellite imagery has that combination of attributes. 

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