An Arctic air mass brought more snow to communities around the Great Lakes on December 14, 2016. The lake-effect snow comes on the heels of an earlier accumulation that piled up to several feet of snow in some areas last week, according to reports. Officials have issued weather warnings and advisories from northeast Ohio to upstate New York.
The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite captured this image on December 14 using the day-night band. The instrument can detect faint light sources—in this case, the reflection of the full moon on the fresh snow. The crisp, bright glow of city lights in Chicago and Detroit offers further evidence that the ground is covered in snow. If the white shade in the image were due to cloud cover, an overcast sky would likely obscure lights on the ground. Note how clouds blur the landscape in the bottom left part of the image.
Cloud streets appear above Lake Huron and Lake Superior. These parallel rows of clouds are created by cold, dry air blowing over a lake and accumulating water vapor.
Meteorologists are predicting more snow for the area in the coming week, as a winter storm makes its way east.
References and Related Reading
- NASA Earth Observatory (2007, February 7) Cloud Streets over the Great Lakes.
- The Weather Channel (2016, December 14) Multi-Day Siege of Lake-Effect Snow Underway; Feet of Snow Likely. Accessed December 14, 2016.
- AccuWeather (2016, December 14) Weekend snow, ice storm to slick roads in northeastern US. Accessed December 14, 2016.
NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens using VIIRS day-night band data from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership. Suomi NPP is the result of a partnership between NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Department of Defense. Caption by Pola Lem.
- Suomi NPP - VIIRS