The winter of 2012-2013 has been marked by powerful snowstorms with record-setting snowfall throughout much of the Midwestern United States. This astronaut photograph features the Southern High Plains of north Texas, directly south of the city of Amarillo (off the image to the north). The snowstorm that passed through this area left a record snowfall of approximately 43 centimeters (17 inches).
In this photo from the International Space Station, snow blankets the city of Canyon, Texas. Urban street grids and stream channels appear etched into the landscape by the snow, a result of both melting and street clearing in the urban regions and of the incised nature of stream channels in the surrounding plains. Agricultural fields are easily identified due to the even snow cover broken only by roadways between the fields. Palo Duro Canyon is largely free of snow along the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River channel and at lower elevations, allowing the red sedimentary rocks of the canyon walls to be visible.
Lake Tanglewood, a reservoir to the northeast of Canyon appears dark due to a lack of ice cover. Another dark region to the northwest of Canyon is a feed yard for cattle; any snowfall is this area has been removed by the actions of the livestock.
Astronaut photograph ISS034-E-57550 was acquired on February 28, 2013, with a Nikon D3S digital camera using a 400 millimeter lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by the Expedition 34 crew. It has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast, and lens artifacts have been removed. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory as part of the ISS National Lab to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Caption by William L. Stefanov, Jacobs/ESCG at NASA-JSC.