By Brian Dunbar
A massive winter storm system pummeled the eastern United States, with two low-pressure systems merging into a potent nor’easter that dropped heavy snow from Virginia to New England. By late afternoon on January 23, snowfall totals approached records in several states, and hurricane-force winds battered the coastlines and led to serious flooding. The storm continued through the morning of January 24.
NASA’s Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite acquired the above image of the storm system at 2:15 a.m. EST on January 23. It was composed through the use of the VIIRS “day-night band,” which detects faint light signals such as city lights, moonlight, airglow, and auroras. In the image, the clouds are lit from above by the nearly full moon and from below by the lights of the heavily populated East Coast. The city lights are blurred in places by cloud cover.
On January 24, at 3:55 a.m. EST, NOAA’s National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland, reported, “Snow is tapering off over the mid-Atlantic and Northeast as the winter storm system tracks further offshore. This system dumped copious amounts of snow over West Virginia, Virginia, Washington D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. A few locations came close to, or surpassed, all-time one-day and two-day snow records. Accumulations of 2 to 3 feet were common, with a few isolated areas in the West Virginia and Maryland panhandles measuring 3.5 feet.”
Here is a daytime satellite view on January 24:
All photos courtesy of nasa.gov.
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