This GOES East satellite photo, taken on May 22, 2011 shows storm clouds above the US Midwest. The image captures the weather system just moments before it spawned a deadly tornado that ripped a 4 mile long path through the city of Joplin, Missouri. Initial reports put the death toll at over a 100, making this the deadliest year for tornadoes since 1953.
Update: Here’s an animation of imagery from the GOES-13 satellite, showing the line of thunderstorms that triggered in the tornado. Joplin is center image. Courtesy: NASA/NOAA GOES Project/Dennis Chesters..
According to the National Weather Service the Joplin twister was just one of over 50 reported the same day across Midwest States. The graphic below shows every storm report on the 22nd mapped out. Tornadoes are indicated with red dots: