The Northeast snowstorm of 2010 by satellite view

From NASA Earth Observatory: Last week’s Winter Storm in the Northeastern United States

Winter Storm in the Northeastern United States

download large image (9 MB, JPEG)acquired December 28, 2010
download GeoTIFF file (74 MB, TIFF)acquired December 28, 2010
download Google Earth file (KMZ)acquired December 28, 2010

A severe winter storm dropped up to 32 inches (80 centimeters) of snow on parts of the northeastern United States in late December 2010. The two-day storm brought especially heavy snow to parts of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, where wind gusts up to 80 miles (130 kilometers) per hour struck Cape Cod. Airlines canceled hundreds of flights, and tens of thousands of residents lost power. With ambulances stranded in snow-clogged streets, 911 dispatchers in New York City were forced to resort to triage.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’sTerra satellite captured this natural-color image of the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada on December 28, 2010. Snow and clouds blend seamlessly, but can be distinguished by their different textures. The wide swath of uniform white that extends from Michigan and Ontario toward the southeast is a cloudbank. Under clear skies, snow cover from the storm creates a mottled appearance.

As skies cleared over the northeastern United States, some residents enjoyed sledding and snowball fights while others endured backaches from snow shoveling. Thousands of airline passengers, meanwhile, awaited flights home from their holiday travels.

  1. References

  2. Baker, B., Moskowitz, E. (2010, December 29). Oh, what a beautiful day. Boston Globe.Accessed December 29, 2010.
  3. McGeehan, P. (2010, December 28). A New Jersey city digs out from 32 inches. The New York Times. Accessed December 29, 2010.
  4. Otterman, S., Baker, A. (2010, December 28). With ambulances stuck in snow, city resorted to triage. The New York Times. Accessed December 29, 2010.

NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Michon Scott.

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January 3, 2011 7:51 pm

Send some of that snow over to central Bristish Columbia. Skiing and snowmobiling short on snow.

January 3, 2011 8:00 pm

A lot of that snow (only 8″ or so for me north of Concord NH) melted over the weekend with an early January thaw. Next chance for snow is Friday.

James Mayo
January 3, 2011 8:41 pm

It looks impressive on first viewing but when you visit the earth observatory website and read into it a little more you learn that the uniform white that stretches from Michigan and Ontario to the southeast is a cloudbank and not solid powder. In the image the snow visible through clear skies appears “mottled” which I regretfully had to look up to verify that it means having spots or patches of color.
The real travesty about this is as I was admiring our ability to peer back and see such an amazing near real time look at our pale blue dot one of the talking heads on TV in the background had the gall to claim that 32″ of snow confirms global warming. This was even further simplified into claiming more evaporation = more precipitation followed by a nonsensical claim that a higher concentration of CO2 is somehow responsible for the change in the jet stream which allowed the storm to have such a big impact on such highly populated regions.
I really am at a loss as to how it will ever be possible for reason and critical thinking to return when the average person just hears these talking point blatherings and accepts it as such without looking into it themselves.
Admittedly many people in the northeast are probably having a harder time falling for this (il?)logic with each passing winter. I really just wish we could take this wonderful repository of information from WUWT and put it into a simple primer we can just refer people to that shows side by side all the contradictory predictions and real world results so it becomes obvious to the average person that listening to the same scientists and enviro-wonks who have been wrong so many times in the past is not worth their time anymore.

Brian H
January 3, 2011 8:55 pm

And the public service worker unions in NYC deliberately screwed up the clearance, and 10% just stayed home. ‘Cause nobody messes with their perks and paychecks!

January 3, 2011 9:17 pm

The 10 day MRF is showing in days 8 and beyond a very strong cold outbreak for North America with a full connection back to Siberia over the North Pole.

Honest ABE
January 3, 2011 10:20 pm

All that climate disruption has made it white hot!

el gordo
January 3, 2011 10:25 pm

The UK Met knew a bitterly cold winter was coming, as far back as October, but they didn’t tell the public because…well, they were embarrassed.
Although, to give them credit, they did tell a few ministers.

Northern Exposure
January 3, 2011 11:15 pm

Correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t “more precipitation” result in cooling either way you look at it ??
Rain cools the surface in the summer (negative feedback).
Surface snow reflects sunlight in the winter (albedo effect).
So long as we have a hydrological cycle, we have negative feedback of some sort.
As a side note: If memory serves correctly, it seems to me that the planet spends a lot more time in glacials than it does in interglacials (or at least the northern hemisphere does). I wonder… could that have anything to do with these crazy hydrological negative feedbacks and albedos, as icing on the cake to the theorized Milankovitch cycles ?
Or does AGW tell us to just completely ignore the hydrological cycle all together because the CO2 “blanket” trumps that as well ?

January 4, 2011 12:24 am

el gordo says:
January 3, 2011 at 10:25 pm
I don’t think embarassment over their ‘bad’ BBQ summer forecast was to blame – it was simply that is didn’t tally in with all their ‘AGW is causing 2010 hottest year’ type promotional material.
I used to have some belief in the Metoffice, but sadly now, it is just another MSM pawn for the scam, supported, aided and abetted by the insipid miscreants at CRU !

January 4, 2011 4:09 am

If this is true heads need to roll at the Met Office,they are run with taxpayers money
they should be answerable to us the, taxpayers.
A bit more effort in MRF and LRF and a lot less dabbling in the religion of AGW

stephen richards
January 4, 2011 4:21 am

el gordo says:
January 3, 2011 at 10:25 pm
There is no evidence at all from them that proves this is anything other than a playground da-da_dada-da, tongue out.

Paul Coppin
January 4, 2011 5:07 am

Nice picture. No winter storm in the NE US in that shot…

Mark Wagner
January 4, 2011 6:20 am

get ready. Dallas weathermen today reported that ~1/15 “the coldest weather in years” is scheduled to arrive. the low currently off the coast of CA will move east dragging down a massive arctic blast behind it.
AGW my a**. Everything I see and read tells me the planet is cooling.

R. de Haan
January 4, 2011 6:43 am

el gordo says:
January 3, 2011 at 10:25 pm
“The UK Met knew a bitterly cold winter was coming, as far back as October, but they didn’t tell the public because…well, they were embarrassed.
Although, to give them credit, they did tell a few ministers.”
It’s not true, it’s a white wash.
Re-writing History

nandheeswaran jothi
January 4, 2011 7:01 am

JacobusZeno says:
January 3, 2011 at 8:44 pm
You are right. There is a lots and lots of hearts and minds to win over.
but, sadly, you can get a Ph.D in Biology with no more than mediocre math, and there are teachers and professors get a short at the students everyday, teaching them AGW orthodoxy

January 4, 2011 8:52 am

Here in the UK it`s never mentioned, plenty about flooding in Australia though.

Dave Springer
January 6, 2011 6:57 am

“With ambulances stranded in snow-clogged streets, 911 dispatchers in New York City were forced to resort to triage.”
A new twist on health care “delivery”. Instead of a delivery problem from doctor to patient this one was a problem delivering patients to doctors. So the NYC health care system was for a brief time functioning like Canada’s health care system functions all the time with the patient sitting on his butt at home waiting his turn.

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