Science and Exploration

Satellite View of the Central and Eastern U.S. in the Deep Freeze

By Keith Cowing
January 21, 2014
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Satellite View of the Central and Eastern U.S. in the Deep Freeze
Snow Covers The Eastern US

NOAA’s GOES-East satellite is providing continuous coverage of the major winter storm affecting the U.S. East Coast on January 21, 2014.
The National Weather Service or NWS National Prediction Center noted in their short range public discussion on January 21 that an Arctic air mass is arriving in the eastern U.S. today and snow will extend from the Mid-Atlantic to New England.

NOAA’s NWS noted that this extreme winter outbreak comes with bitter wind chills as low as -15F even in the nation’s capital.

This NOAA GOES satellite image from January 21 at 1601 UTC/11:01 a.m. EST shows a snow-covered Mid-west behind the clouds associated with the cold front that is expected to bring snowfall from Virginia to Maine. NWS forecast totals range from 4 inches in southern Virginia to the greatest totals in southern New England, where nearly a foot is expected to fall according to NOAA.

The GOES image was created at NASA/NOAA’s GOES Project at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. At the NASA/NOAA’s GOES Project, the GOES data (clouds) were laid down as “primer” over the land and ocean areas, which are derived from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument data. MODIS is an instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Aqua and Terra satellites. In the image, the colder, higher clouds appear whiter and brighter.

The NWS cited a wave of low pressure developing along a strong Arctic front that has been sinking southward through the Mid-Atlantic. That low pressure area is expected to strengthen into a surface low off the New England coast. According to NWS, that means people from the central Appalachians to southern New England, including all of the Mid-Atlantic region can expect moderate to heavy snow. Winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories are in effect for these areas. For updated forecasts from NOAA, visit:

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