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Satellite Shows Major Winter Storm Hitting the U.S. South

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Posted February 12, 2014

Clouds associated with the major winter storm that is bringing wintry precipitation and chilly temperatures to the U.S. south is the focus in an image from NOAA’s GOES-East satellite today, February 11 at 1815 UTC/1:15 p.m. EST.

Rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow are part of the large front that stretches from eastern Texas to the Carolinas in the Geostationary Operational Environmental satellite or GOES image. NOAA’s weather maps show several areas of low pressure along the frontal boundary. One low pressure is in the northern Gulf of Mexico, while the other is in the Atlantic Ocean, just south of South Carolina.

goes-snow-20140211

NOAA’s National Weather Service has been issuing watches and warnings throughout the south that extend along Mid-Atlantic east coast.

The visible cloud and ground snow data in this image was taken from NOAA’s GOES-East satellite. The image was created by the NASA GOES Project at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The clouds and fallen snow 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.

NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center, or WPC noted on Feb. 11 at 3:59 a.m. EST, “Once the intensifying surface low moves off the Southeast coast and begins its track up the Eastern Seaboard Wednesday night…winter weather will start lifting northward into the northern Mid-Atlantic states.”

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.

Source: NASA

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