Warning #1: Mild profanity in the below video.
Warning #2: Egregious use of the word “frickin” also in the video.
This state-spanning quilt of clouds, so peaceful from space, is responsible for at least two tornadoes in Massachusetts yesterday that killed three people and decimated residential neighborhoods in Springfield, Brimfield and Westfield. (Photo gallery.) The satellite image was taken at 4:15 p.m., right around the time Springfieldians saw the first twister spin down from the sky. Says NOAA: “The overshooting cloud tops can be seen in Central and Western Massachusetts, indicative of intense thunderstorm activity.” A high-res version is available here.
These were the first twisters in Massachusetts in three years. Their power was evident in Millbury, where a envelope floated down to the ground after traveling about 50 miles from Springfield. The day was full of weird, jeopardous weather: Rope tornadoes spun through Nebraska, fog instantly appeared in the low-pressure vortex of a Massachusetts twister and, perhaps most bizarrely, 1 inch-thick hailstones “somewhat in the shape of spears” thumped Jackson, N.C. That is weather we all can do without.
Here’s another view of one of the tornadoes drifting through downtown Springfield: