WORLD FROM SPACE - Snowcover in the Northeast United States

Snow cover sprawled across the northeastern United States in early March 2013. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image on March 9. Snow cover stretched from West Virginia northward into Canada, and from the western shore of Lake Ontario eastward to the Atlantic Ocean.

The snow cover lingered in the wake of Winter Storm Saturn. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground discussed the storm’s unusual size. As it was bringing significant snowfall to parts of the eastern United States, the storm was actually centered about 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) east-southeast of New York City. The storm’s sheer size—roughly 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) across—enabled it to impact such a large area.

Winter Storm Saturn deposited more than 6 inches (15 centimeters) of snow on 17 states, affecting the Plains and Midwest before heading east. Some of the highest snowfall totals occurred in the Appalachian Mountains, including an amount of 24 inches (61 centimeters) in Franklin, West Virginia.

Snow wasn’t the only hazard posed by Saturn; parts of the Massachusetts coast also suffered a storm surge. Arriving during the morning high tide cycle on March 8, the surge led to street flooding, structure damage, and erosion.
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE MODIS Rapid Response. Caption by Michon Scott.
Instrument: Terra - MODIS