Satellite Video Shows Movement of Major U.S. Winter Storm in the South

A new NASA video of NOAA’s GOES satellite imagery shows three days of movement of the massive winter storm that stretches from the southern U.S. to the northeast.Visible and infrared imagery from NOAA’s GOES-East or GOES-13 satellite from Feb. 10 at 1815 UTC/1:15 p.m. EST to Feb. 12 to 1845 UTC/1:45 p.m. EST were compiled into a video made by NASA/NOAA’s GOES Project at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

This animation of NOAA’s GOES satellite data shows the progression of the major winter storm in the U.S. south from Feb. 10 at 1815 UTC/1:15 p.m. EST to Feb. 12 to 1845 UTC/1:45 p.m. EST. Image Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project, Dennis Chesters

In the video, viewers can see the development and movement of the clouds associated with the progression of the frontal system and related low pressure areas that make up the massive storm. The video also shows the snow covered ground over the Great Lakes region and Ohio Valley that stretches to northern New England. The clouds and fallen snow data from NOAA’s GOES-East satellite were overlaid on a true-color image of land and ocean created by data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Aqua and Terra satellites.

On February 12 at 10 a.m. EST, NOAA’s National Weather Service or NWS continued to issue watches and warnings from Texas to New England. Specifically, NWS cited Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories were in effect from eastern Texas eastward across the interior section of southeastern U.S. states and across much of the eastern seaboard including the Appalachians. Winter storm watches are in effect for portions of northern New England as well as along the western slopes of northern and central Appalachians. For updates on local forecasts, watches and warnings, visit NOAA’s  www.weather.gov webpage.

GOES satellite image of the Feb. 12, 2014 snowstorm
This visible image of the winter storm over the U.S. south and East Coast was taken by NOAA’s GOES-13 satellite on Feb. 12 at 1855 UTC/1:55 p.m. EST. Snow covered ground can be seen over the Great Lakes region and Ohio Valley.Image Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project

NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center or WPC noted the storm is expected to bring “freezing rain spreading into the Carolinas, significant snow accumulations are expected in the interior Mid-Atlantic states tonight into Thursday and ice storm warnings and freezing rain advisories are in effect across much of central Georgia.GOES satellites provide the kind of continuous monitoring necessary for intensive data analysis. Geostationary describes an orbit in which a satellite is always in the same position with respect to the rotating Earth. This allows GOES to hover continuously over one position on Earth’s surface, appearing stationary. As a result, GOES provide a constant vigil for the atmospheric “triggers” for severe weather conditions such as tornadoes, flash floods, hail storms and hurricanes.

For updated information about the storm system, visit NOAA’s WPC website:  http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/

For more information about GOES satellites, visit: http://www.goes.noaa.gov/ or http://goes.gsfc.nasa.gov/

Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

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42 thoughts on “Satellite Video Shows Movement of Major U.S. Winter Storm in the South

  1. Yeah, we have 6 inches of snow in Durham, and at the moment there is a “wintry mix” of snow and sleet falling. We are probably going to get anywhere from 2 to 6 more inches of snow before it stops, except that it may not stop until Friday or even Saturday.

    rgb

  2. The current developing nor’easter is a good time to remember America’s first meteorologist, Benjamin Franklin. Residents of the colonies were long familiar with severe storms that generated strong winds from the northeast. It was assumed that these storms would first strike Boston, then New York, then Philadelphia, just as the closer candle gets blown out before the further one. Dr. Franklin, through correspondence with friends in other cities, realized that a nor’easter in 1743 hit Philadelphia first, then New York, and then Boston. From this he was able to deduce the cyclonic nature of the storms, spinning like a top up the coast from the southwest. He made this discovery with no fancy scientific instruments. With an open, curious mind, and the habit of careful observation, he saw what everyone else saw, but discovered something that nobody else had understood. To read more see http://www.pbs.org/benfranklin/l3_inquiring_weather.html

  3. Clearly, not much surface heating happening due to reflective clouds and snow cover. All that sunshine getting reflected right back into space [sigh].

    And, it goes without saying, all solar energy systems are crap-outs for electricity generation.

    Hope all those eastern folks have reliable coal-powered electricity plants and/or plentiful natural gas supplies

  4. We have a 95% degree of confidence that this is entirely consistent with & predicted by all the climate models, even though none of them actually did so, except that it’s unprecedented & much worse than we thought. Man-made climate change makes everything worse, whether warmer or colder. For the models say it’s so.

    Snow in Miami, Havana & Cancun will also be entirely consistent with the models, when we’re through adjusting them.

  5. Here in Atlanta we have sleet and some ice, but it is not as bad as forecast. The problem is that winter storms are almost never forecast correctly for this area. That is one reason why we got into trouble a couple of weeks age when a dusting of 1 to 2 inches of show turned into ice as fast as it hit the streets.

    Last month the superintendent of the Fulton County School System closed the schools for a day because of low temperatures, and was virtually skinned alive when things turned out to be not so bad. Then, he kept schools open in spite of the forecast of snow two weeks ago, and then was virtually skinned alive, again.

    This time everybody was so gun shy that the schools were closed starting Tuesday, and now will continue through Thursday. There was only a little precipitation on Tuesday, and the kids could have attended school without hazard.

    Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.

  6. This is only the beginning of what we can expect for a good many years to come, if Habibullo Abdussamatov and the other Russian scientists are right – and their methods have established the clear correlation, if not actually a clear causative relationship, between historic temperatures and solar activity.

    The alarmies look more and more ridiculous – but will never be aware of it because their ideology says all that snow and ice and cold hitting them upside the head isn’t really, there, it’s just in the imagination of “deniers.”

  7. I live near Detroit and I am retired and looking hard at Tallahassee, Florida, that is 1000 miles due south. I am tired of ice and snow. Oddly, two winters ago it was a VERY mild warm winter.

  8. Very nice. Thank you NASA and WUWT.
    When this one finished a selection of 12 others appeared and, for me, one was a similar video from the GOES-West view of the “Pineapple Express” for the 7th through the 9th. Next up should be a river of moist air flowing toward the Cascades, now underway.

  9. GeologyJim says: @ February 12, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    ….Hope all those eastern folks have reliable coal-powered electricity plants and/or plentiful natural gas supplies
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Actually that is the area where most of the coal fired plants are to shutdown by 2015:
    link

  10. John Boles says:
    February 12, 2014 at 6:20 pm
    “I live near Detroit and I am retired and looking hard at Tallahassee, Florida, that is 1000 miles due south. I am tired of ice and snow. Oddly, two winters ago it was a VERY mild warm winter.”

    John, you had better move farther south than that. To stay clear of freezing temps you must go south of the Tampa/Orlando line.

    As an aside, here on the southwest coast of Florida, I was outside watching the front come through. You could see the line of massive, dark tumbling clouds sweeping in from the NW but the air was still warm ahead of the front. As the cloud line came in the air temps dropped significantly and the thunder and rain started. The frontal line has passed now and only cooler air temps remain. Should be back into the 70’s in a day or so.

  11. Sweet Old Bob says: @ February 12, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    If this storm would just stay on top of DC for about a week…
    Maybe they might get a clue…
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Unfortunately Dr. Brown and I were getting colder temperatures and more snow today than DC even though we are in NC. SIGHhhhh

    The clear skies has let DC cool off quicker though. We are still at 28 °F (Light Snow) and DC is 25.6 °F
    Total snow accumulation for DC of 4 to 8 inches.
    Total snow accumulation for my area 8 to 9 inches. Additional sleet accumulation up to 1 inch.

    Dr Brown’s area near the airport is total snow accumulation 7 to 9 inches with a current temperature of 30.8 °F with Light Freezing Rain Ice Pellets Snow Mist.

    So the airport is ~3°F warmer then my area ~25 miles due south.

    Jeff Masters Wunderground forecast yesterday morning was no appreciable snow accumulation, freezing rain and ice pellets. ice less than 1/4 inch. Boy did he blow it! We got snow on Tuesday around noon, shortly after I read that forecast

  12. Hey Tom In Florida,

    We’re in Venice which of course is just south of Sarasota on southwest coast. Agreed, must move south of Tampa. I’m a weather nut and every day compare temps here with other FLorida locations. Almost always at least several degrees warmer here than Tampa. I don’t even think Venice is far south enough, as that same differential holds for Fort Myers an hour or so to the south…which is to say they’re almost always a few degrees warmer than we are.

    Next year we’re shooting the moon. All the way to Key West. As far south as you can go. Next stop Cuba. If it’s cold in Key West I’ll have to laugh and just be secure in the knowledge that I did the very best I could.

  13. Very nice.

    This is the one time that I don’t miss Atlanta … too much … they just don’t seem to get it when it comes to salting the roads … I see more sand & grit than salt. When I was living there, my car never experienced that special white film from road salt … here in Buffalo, everything gets that white film … parked cars (even when parked in the driveway), mail boxes, trash cans … and it’ll take some above freezing weather (and rain) to wash the residue away.

    Is it spring yet??

  14. pokerguy says:
    February 12, 2014 at 6:49 pm
    “Hey Tom In Florida,
    We’re in Venice …”

    So am I !
    My wife and I have been joking the last couple of years that we have to move farther south during the winter. Is there a word similar to “snowbird” that would describe someone from Florida who moves farther south to get away from the 50 degree temps of winter?

  15. I recall 60″ of snow falling in New Brunswick at Christmas in 1970 over ~24 hours. Nobody saw it coming. It paralyzed our little town for days.

    Today we see it 1000s of miles away in detail, we can predict front locations and intensity and as a result lives are saved.

    Fascinating every time I look at satellite animations in quasi-real time.

  16. Question for satellite image wonks:

    How is this image animation constructed over a two day period yet it appears well illuminated during what seems to be night time hours?

    Are they using false color augmentation with IR images superimposed on daylight registers?

    Also, are the satellites Geosynchronous?

  17. It’s supposed to be 84°F. tomorrow in Phoenix.
    It hasn’t rained for two months.
    There hasn’t been a measurable amount of snow in 23 years.
    Believe it or not, clear and sunny gets old after a while.

    • @David

      Believe it or not, clear and sunny gets old after a while.

      Not if you are headed out there from the frozen east! (if the flights stop being cancelled). ;-)

  18. >>Also, are the satellites Geosynchronous?

    GOES (as in the satellite names) stands for Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, so yes, they are in geosynchronous orbits.

  19. “My wife and I have been joking the last couple of years that we have to move farther south during the winter. Is there a word similar to “snowbird” that would describe someone from Florida who moves farther south to get away from the 50 degree temps of winter.”

    Hah! Yes. “Spoiled.” But I understand completely. I’m supposed to be grateful not to be home in MAssachusetts where they’ve had a bear of a winter. And of course i am. But this is south Florida for crying out loud. 65 and windy is ANNOYING. :-)

  20. Here in upstate South Carolina (Inman, Spartanburg County) we’ve had about 6 inches of snow so far and are north of the freezing rain. However, we’ve had a record of sorts. Since retiring here seven years ago, our lowest daytime high temp was 29, last month. Today it was 26 F! However, it was 30 degrees at midnight last night so the day’s high was officially 30. You can go to the bank with those temp readings. I bought my Vantage Pro from some one you’ve heard of!

  21. John, I move from North Dakota to Mesa Arizona in 2007, yes we do get snow here now and then last year I came out of the office only to find my pickup covered with snow, unlike North Dakota when I parked it under the car port that night by morning all signs of it where gone, in North Dakota it would have been there until late March of early April. I worked all day with my patio door open, yes Mesa is much better than Fargo. As far as the storm on the east coast, I know historically they can get snow measured in feet not inches, I just wonder what will happen when as six or seven footer hits them again?

  22. Tom in Florida says:

    February 12, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    pokerguy says:
    February 12, 2014 at 6:49 pm
    “Hey Tom In Florida,
    We’re in Venice …”

    So am I !
    My wife and I have been joking the last couple of years that we have to move farther south during the winter. Is there a word similar to “snowbird” that would describe someone from Florida who moves farther south to get away from the 50 degree temps of winter?
    =============
    How about “gator bait”, or even “swamp panther creole”.
    Any panthers left, down in the Everglades ?. I’ve heard they are in trouble.

  23. Here in SW Florida real estate prices are still very cheep. We were ground zero for the national housing bubble bust. I bought an almost new house, used slightly as a pot grow house, at 90% off bubble price. It would due Florida RE sellers well to take advantage of the predicted colder northern winters, sighting the grand solar minimum as the cause in advertising to northern clients.

  24. You Guys should come and live over here in Brisbane, Australia … mild winters and warm summers … golf all year around … summer this year has been quite mild (27C – 30C) except for a few hot day. We have a conservative State and Federal Government so the enjoyment should last for sometime.

  25. No weather weirding here! Just the media in overdrive. It’s the same in England. The Axis of Disinformation – BBC, Met Office – controlled by shadowy Socialist forces, trying to talk a bit of rain up into a disaster

  26. Village Idiot says:
    February 12, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    No weather weirding here! Just the media in overdrive. It’s the same in England. The Axis of Disinformation – BBC, Met Office – controlled by shadowy Socialist forces, trying to talk a bit of rain up into a disaster.

    I got an email from the Daily Express saying that a 150-mph hurricane was approaching Britain.

  27. RE: GeologyJim says:
    February 12, 2014 at 5:55 pm
    “……Hope all those eastern folks have reliable coal-powered electricity plants and/or plentiful natural gas supplies.”

    I have a reliable back-up, called “a wood stove.” Back when we lost power for ten days in an ice storm, five years ago, our drafty, 250-year-old house went from being the coldest house in the neighborhood to the warmest.

  28. u.k.(us) says:
    February 12, 2014 at 7:46 pm
    “Any panthers left, down in the Everglades ?. I’ve heard they are in trouble.”

    Serious trouble with only an estimated 60-100 breeding animals left in the wild. Lost of habitat has been a major problem now compounded by the invasion of large pythons in the Everglades that are destroying the panthers food supply of small animals and deer. Small pets left outside are in danger from gators and panthers and pythons, oh my!.

  29. Streetcred says:
    February 12, 2014 at 8:59 pm
    ——————————————————————
    I came over for a vacation to see snow !
    I’m N.W. of Philadelphia, near Doylestown.
    This morning it is bucketing down, 7:45, 13-2-14.
    I will be stuck inside all day.
    At least we still have power, but that is risky business.
    I can’t understand why they all don’t emigrate !
    I’ll be back in March !

  30. A few folks have been commenting about the weather and the cold and where they live. I grew up in northern Arkansas and had the full seasonal experience. Back in the 70s we had cold winters and hot summers. In the 90s I moved to Tampa/St. Pete and lived there for 9 years. I missed the seasons bad. I only saw frost one time in 9 years. I moved right back home in 2006. Spring comes and you love it! You were so sick of winter! The redbuds and plum bushes bloom, then the dogwoods. The smell of grass growing and flowers. People get out in shorts and short sleeves, smiling and enjoying the respite. But you can’t play in the lake in springtime, so you start looking forward to Summer. Then you love it! The hot sun on your back, floating the river, cookouts and camping. Then you get sick of the heat, look forward to the Fall to cool things off. The trees begin to turn, hunting season arrives, the smell of wood fires. Then everybody starts thinking holidays, Christmas and snow. Kids are begging for a good winter pelting so they can get out of school and go sledding (me too!). The look of the Ozark forests and their barren trees, sometimes scattered with snow. Then you get sick of winter! Come one Springtime! I love where I live. The “climate” is wonderful and diverse. Yes, it warmed a little and the winters were milder, the summers occasionally fierce. But I feel the trend is turning. This winter has been much more like the winters of my childhood. Yup. Climate changes. It shure does ;-)

  31. Hmmmmm.

    David says:
    February 12, 2014 at 7:27 pm
    It’s supposed to be 84°F. tomorrow in Phoenix.
    It hasn’t rained for two months.
    There hasn’t been a measurable amount of snow in 23 years.
    Believe it or not, clear and sunny gets old after a while.

    David, I live in Phoenix as well. I lived in Maine for the first 44 years of my life. Believe it or not, clean and sunny does NOT get old after a while. One day of gray clouds has me begging for sunshine again. I do agree, however, that a few days of rain in the mountains of Arizona would be a wonderful thing, but since the resevoirs aren’t in Maricopa County, I’ll take the clear and sunny days every time.

  32. Streetcred says:
    February 12, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    You Guys should come and live over here in Brisbane, Australia … mild winters and warm summers

    ========================================================

    Would the local authorities deem all my guns a “collection” or an “arsenal?”

    No thanks, Cred.

  33. As of 10 o’clock last night, my brother in Aiken reported two inches of ice, some clinging to the trees. My brother in Columbia reported 2.5 inches of ice, but mostly sleet on the ground. I’m closer to Charlotte. I had 4″ of snow, but sleet started falling at 10. Don’t know how much I got. I’ll be out with a snow shovel this afternoon. I don’t expect the roads to be passable til tomorrow.

    Still snowing here as the tail of the low drags through.

    As southern storms go, this was a pretty big one. I’ve seen bigger; there is nothing unprecedented about this one.

  34. According to NOAA ESRL, it is warmer at the north pole right now than it is over much of the northern US. Due to the ‘split vortex’, I guess. It is fascinating watching all the weather variations around the globe now possible due to the system of temperature/weather monitoring technologies in place. Too bad clumsy models, human emotions and bias still seem to trump data.

    PS. It is an absolutely beautiful whitescape in Durham, NC today.

  35. Well as of noon it appears to have quit. Looks like we got about 6 inches of snow and 3 of sleet.
    Gamecock is correct in this is not unprecedented. I recall the winter of 58 or 59 about this time of the month when we got 15 inches of snow then 6 inches of sleet to pack it down then 2 days later it repeated. We were out of school for 2 weeks. Unfortunately the cows had to be milked regardless of what the weather did.

  36. The snow started at 5:45 AM here in southern New Hampshire. So far it has been light; just a couple inches by noon, but radar shows they are getting between one and three inches an hour down in Connecticut and Massachusetts, and that wall of white is coming north. Plenty of moisture with this one. Boston will likely get a dump of six inches and then rain, but sixty miles north and west of them, where I live, temperatures are struggling to get out of the teens, This will make the skiers happy!

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