Nasa scientists have captured unique images of Texas tornadoes in 3-D. Nasa's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite provides a look at the Texas tornadoes in three dimensions. The images give more information about the heights of the thunderclouds and the rainfall rates coming from them, both of which indicate severity. Powerful thunderstorms that created severe weather were more than 8 miles high.

The satellite has gathered rainfall and cloud height data from a line of thunderstorms moving through the area. The rainfall image showed a distinct line of tornadic thunderstorms extending from Arkansas through central Texas, where heavy rain falling along a line at over 2 inches (50 mm). The satellite has provided three dimensional images of the Texas tornadoes. The images give the scientists a clear picture as to how intense the tornado was.

A massive tornado hit Dallas in Texas on Tuesday, 3 April, 2012. It destroyed more than 200 homes in Dallas. NOAA's National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center received 18 reports of tornadoes occurring on April 3 over northeastern Texas. Some of these very destructive storms dropped softball sized hail as they passed over the south of the Dallas, Fort Worth and several other areas.

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite provides inside looks at rainfall rates occurring in tropical weather, including hurricanes and tornadoes. TRMM also calculated cloud heights, which indicated strengthening or weakening of the hurricane. TRMM also records heavy rainfall and outer bands of thunderstorms.

"The TRMM-based, near-real time Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) at Nasa Goddard monitors rainfall over the global tropics. We did an analysis of TMPA rainfall totals for the period from 20 August to 29, 2011 and Hurricane Irene was dropping tremendous amounts of rainfall over the eastern United States during a part of this period," said Hal Pierce, scientists at the at Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center.

TRMM is a joint mission between Nasa and the Japanese Space Agency, Jaxa. Nasa and Jaxa are currently collaborating on the follow-on mission called the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission. The GPM mission will provide a new generation of satellite observations of rain and snow worldwide every three hours for scientific research and societal benefits.

Here are some pictures of tornadoes: