Drones clear up the picture of tornado damage

Aerial images could improve tornado strength estimates

The tornado path market by white scared vegitation becomes wider and more visible as ground elevation rises 74 feet on the right side of the drone imagery.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla - Researchers are understanding how terrain influences tornado tracks along the ground using drones.

Damage surveys and numerical models have shown that tornadoes can weaken, strengthen or even change direction depending on the position of the tornado relative to terrain characteristics.

Three drones capable of detecting changes in the health of vegetation down to the size of an inch allowed researchers to reach inaccessible areas of damage from a 17 mile long path from an EF-3 Kansas tornado.

The scientists work, presented at the American Meteorological Societies Annual meeting, could help pinpoint tornado tracks improving intensity-scale estimates.

The tornado path market by white scared vegetation becomes wider and more visible as ground elevation rises 74 feet on the right side of the drone imagery.
 

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