Date: Thu, 01.04.21 13:00
MODIS Pic of the Day 01 April 2021
Severe storms crossed Tennessee on March 27, 2021, battering the state
with heavy rain and high wind, and sparking tornado and flood warnings.
The deluge was so heavy that severe flash flooding was reported in
several areas. On March 30, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency
(TEMA) reported that seven weather-related deaths had been confirmed.
Flash Flood Watches continued across most of the state on that date and
several highways continued to be closed due to high water. Shelters
remained open in Campbell, Davidson, Hardeman, Rutherford, Sullivan,
and Wilson counties.
The extreme weather was just part of a sweeping system that affected a
swath from East Texas to Tennessee—the National Weather Service
received reports of 16 tornados, 140 reports of large hail, and 100
reports of wind damage from the southeast from March 27-28. In
Tennessee, the hardest-hit area appears to be Davidson County, where
the city of Nashville reported substantial flooding, damage, and power
outages after recording 7.01 inches from the afternoon of March 27 to
the morning of March 28. This is the second-largest two-day rainfall
total on record for that location.
Although rain has continued over parts of Tennessee through March 31,
most rivers have crested and flooding risk is reduced. Colder weather
has brought snow to some parts of the state as of March 31. According
to the National Weather Service, Nashville Tennessee, as of 5:30 p.m.
on March 31 the rainfall for the month has reached 12.28 inches. That’s
just 0.08 inches short of the all-time high rainfall record for March
(12.35 in) set in 1975.
On March 29, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)
on board NASA’s Terra satellite acquired a false-color image centered
on the state of Tennessee. Also visible are parts of southern Kentucky
(north), Mississippi (southwest), and Alabama (south). This image uses
both visible and infrared light (MODIS Bands 7,2,1) to highlights
water. Here, water appears dark blue and contrasts sharply with
vegetation (green) and open land (tan).
The major river visible is the Tennessee River, which rises in the east
at the confluence of the French Broad and Holston Rivers in Knoxville.
The Tennessee flows southwest, crossing into Alabama and traveling west
to form part of the Alabama/Mississippi border before returning to
Tennessee then flowing into Kentucky, where it meets the Ohio River.
Most of the flood damage, however, was reported near Nashville, which
sits along the Cumberland River. Dale Hollow Lake, which straddles
Kentucky and Tennessee, can be seen in the upper right corner of the
image. From Dale Hollow Lake, the Cumberland River meanders generally
westward. Nashville sits near the center of the image, where the
Cumberland narrows and just northeast of the large J Percy Priest Lake.
While this one image clearly illustrates high water in many areas, to
gain a fuller sense of the change brought by the rain, it is helpful to
compare a Terra MODIS image acquired prior to the flood with this one.
Thanks to the NASA Worldview App, such comparisons are easy. To compare
this image, acquired on March 29, with one acquired on March 7, click
Date Acquired: 3/29/2021
Resolutions: 1km (397.4 KB), 500m (1 MB), 250m (651.3 KB)
Bands Used: 7,2,1
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC
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