New Year’s Eve, 2003 was exceptionally warm and sunny over the Mid-Atlantic states. This image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite shows substantial portions of the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and North Carolina. Most of the area is free from early-winter snow, with the exception of the western flank of the Appalachian Mountains. The folds of the ancient, heavily eroded mountains stretch from the lower left to the upper right of the image. Brown deciduous forests (without their leaves) extend west from the mountains. Scattered evergreen forests, colored dark green, lie between the mountains and the Atlantic coast. Fallow fields and agricultural areas are light green, while urban areas appear grey. The Chesapeake Bay, along the right edge of the image, exhibits the distinctive branching shape of a drowned river valley. Albemarle and Pamlico sounds separate the long, thin islands of the Outer Banks from mainland North Carolina.
Image courtesy MODIS Land Rapid Response Team