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Earth Matters

More images from the New England Storm

February 12th, 2013 by Mike Carlowicz

In digging for news on the nor’easter that whacked New England (and my house in southeastern Massachusetts), I happened upon several compelling images.

Marshall Shepherd, current president of the American Meteorological Society and director of the atmospheric science program at the University of Georgia, tweeted out this annotated version of a Terra MODIS satellite image of the storm aftermath:

It seems that the monumental snowfall highlighted some land features of New England, including its longest river, one of the largest manmade reservoirs in the United States (Quabbin), and the scar of a vicious tornado.

EarthSky published a map of snowfall totals compiled by the National Weather Service Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. About 35 to 40 million Americans live within that snowy bullseye.


Finally, our colleague Jeff Schmaltz on the LANCE/MODIS Rapid Response team noticed that while the skies cleared over New England and the Canadian Maritimes on February 10, cloud streets lined up offshore.

Cloud streets form when cold air moves over warmer waters, while a warmer air layer (or temperature inversion) rests over the top of both. Read more here from my fellow Earth Observatory writer Adam Voiland.

By the way, I am not buying into this idea of naming winter storms. I certainly won’t let it spoil my fondness for Nemo, both the movie and book characters. How do you feel about this idea of naming winter storms?


3 Responses to “More images from the New England Storm”

  1. Kristina Kurtz says:

    Thank you for sharing the street cloud photos. In November of last year I was an air traffic controller in Alaska and we noticed the street clouds over Hudson bay on the MODIS pictures but we had no idea what caused it. Then a couple of weeks later we came across Mr. Voiland’s explanation of the same picture we had puzzled over. I assumed it was an arctic phenomenon, now thanks to you I know it can occur farther south. Keep on teaching us new things 🙂

  2. Mike Carlowicz says:

    Kristina – We also just spotted cloud streets in the Bering Sea just the other day:

  3. Eleanor Vallier-Talbot says:

    What an amazing photo of the scar left behind by the June 1 tornado. Great catch, Dr. Shepherd! Plan on using it (with proper credit, of course!) in my educational show on the June 1 tornado, as well as another show I’m developing for my office on the Blizzard of 2013. LOVE this website!

    Eleanor Vallier-Talbot
    Meteorologist/Satellite Focal Point
    NOAA/NWS Taunton, Mass.