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New England Ice Storm

New England Ice Storm
New England Ice Storm

A winter storm coated New England states with ice on December 11-12, 2008, cutting off power to more than a million people across New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, and New York, said news reports. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured these images of the resulting snow and ice after the clouds cleared on December 13. The top image provides a photo-like view of the region. Snow dusts a brown landscape, but the damaging ice is not visible.

The lower image combines short-wave infrared light with visible light to highlight the ice. In this image, snow is red and orange, while liquid water is black. By the time this image was taken, the top layer of ice was undoubtedly starting to melt, and the resulting watery ice ranges from dark red to black. The icy region extends over parts of Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire that did not appear to be affected in the true-color image. Plant-covered land, normally green-blue in this kind of false-color image, is nearly black throughout most of New Hampshire, the state most severely affected by the storm.

NASA images courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Both true color and false color images are available in additional resolutions. Caption by Holli Riebeek.