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Impact of Monday’s storms visible from space

Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 8:52 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The damage caused by Monday’s derecho is actually visible from space, using NASA satellites to image the agricultural and electrical impact.

Imagery from NASA’s MODIS satellites shows scars on the landscape of Iowa’s cropland. A comparison of images with relatively clear skies, on July 24 and August 11 below, shows the change in color of Iowa’s otherwise typical green land cover. These changes line up with where the storms tracked through the center of the state.

Satellite imagery shows the change in Iowa's land cover from the derecho on Monday, August 10, 2020.
Satellite imagery shows the change in Iowa's land cover from the derecho on Monday, August 10, 2020.(KCRG / Imagery: NASA Worldview / MODIS satellies)

Another view of the storm’s impact is seen using the VIIRS nighttime imagery, which usually shows bright city lights along with clouds, particularly when the moon is bright. It showed a distinct darkening for cities along the derecho’s path on an otherwise mostly clear night. The comparison below is on the same dates: July 24 and August 11.

Comparison of Day/Night Band imagery from the Suomi NPP/VIIRS satellite.
Comparison of Day/Night Band imagery from the Suomi NPP/VIIRS satellite.(KCRG / Imagery: NASA Worldview/Suomi NPP/VIIRS)

Imagery was gathered using the NASA Worldview website, which you can view for yourself here.

Copyright 2020 KCRG. All rights reserved.

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