The Wind Beneath My Wings?


As I think it has been well established that remote sensing is beyond useful for a myriad of applications, but here’s another example anyway!

Hurricanes, they blow! But mapping their progress and development can lead to reducing the costs, both in human lives and money, for future weather disasters. collecting images of hurricanes and tornadoes allow analysis to:

  • Identify escape routes;,
  • Crisis mapping,
  • Assess impacts,
  • Monitor the cyclones,
  • Predict storm surges.
Hurricane in Maryland
Image showing the before and after of the tornado that killed 5 people in Maryland in 2002. Vegetation is in red, urban areas in blue-green, and the dark turquoise gash cutting across the image is the track of the tornado (Source: ASTER)

The two images used in this post show the destructive nature of tornadoes in both urban and rural areas. RS can be used to identify the points which suffered most as well as those that withstood the strong winds.

Tornado damage
Incredible image showing the destruction path of the Tornado that ripped through Western Alabama (Source: NASA)

By changing the bands used to display the image, a false colour composite can be created to better show the data and allow analysis to use the images more efficiently.

Fun Fact: Every second, a large hurricane releases the energy of 10 atomic bombs!


NASA, (2011), Unique Space Image of Alabama Tornado Tracks, Available at:, (Accessed: 20th May, 2017).

ASTER, (2002), Tornado rips through Maryland,  Available at:, (Accessed: 20th May, 2017).


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