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EARTH OBSERVATION
Satellite Sees Winter Storm March Over Mid-Atlantic
by Staff Writers
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Mar 06, 2014


Image courtesy NASA/NOAA/GOES Project. For a larger version of this image please go here.

On March 3, a major winter storm brought snow to the mid-Atlantic, freezing rain to the Carolinas and rain and some freezing rain to the Gulf Coast states. NOAA's GOES-East satellite captured an image of the clouds associated with the winter storm on March 3 at 12:45 p.m. EST (1745 UTC)/ as it continued on its march over the mid-Atlantic.

Bands of snow and sometimes heavy snow affected the Washington, D.C., region, Delaware and central Virginia, stretching west into West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. Snow also stretched back into the Ohio and Tennessee valleys while rain and freezing rain affected the Carolinas, and while the Gulf Coast states received rain.

National Weather Service Winter Storm Warnings remained in effect until 6 p.m. EST on March 3 for Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Md. In Richmond and Norfolk, Va., the Winter Storm warnings were in effect for six additional hours ending at midnight.

On March 3, NOAA's National Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Md., noted the late-season winter storm will continue to shift eastward through the Tennessee Valley and the mid-Atlantic today, making for hazardous travel conditions. NOAA noted that unseasonably cold temperatures more typical of January will prevail east of the Rocky Mountains for the next few days keeping winter around for a while longer.

The clouds are associated with a cold front that stretched from eastern Maine through Maryland and west into the Tennessee Valley. At NASA/NOAA's GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., the cloud data from NOAA's GOES-East satellite were overlaid on a true-color image of land and ocean created by data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS, instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua and Terra satellites. Together, those data created the entire picture of the position of this major winter storm.

GOES satellites provide the kind of continuous monitoring necessary for intensive data analysis. Geostationary describes an orbit in which a satellite is always in the same position with respect to the rotating Earth.

This allows GOES to hover continuously over one position on Earth's surface, appearing stationary. As a result, GOES provide a constant vigil for the atmospheric "triggers" for severe weather conditions such as tornadoes, flash floods, hail storms and hurricanes.

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Related Links
Weather at NOAA
GOES at NASA
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