Winter snow is not at all unusual in Minnesota, but the storm that pounded the state on December 10–11, 2010, was extreme. Bringing 17.1 inches of snow to the Twin Cities International Airport, the blizzard was the largest December storm on record for the Minneapolis/St. Paul region, and the fifth largest snowstorm ever recorded in the state, according to the Minnesota State Climatology Office. In this image, the snow cover emphasizes the course of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers through southern Minnesota.
The snow didn’t only affect Minnesota, but stretched hundreds of miles to the east and south. A significant part of about a dozen states can be seen blanketed in snow in this true-color image acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite on December 12, 2010. In Indiana, the snowstorm was reported to have stranded at least 100 cars, and road closures were also reported in four other states.