December 19, 2013 - Snow across the western United States

Snow across the western United States

Early wintery weather buried much of the United States under a blanket of white in late autumn, 2013. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image of the snow-covered western United States on December 11, 2013.

December opened with Winter Storm Cleon dumping snow, sleet and freezing rain across much of the country from Dec. 1 through Dec 7. The next major system, Winter Storm Dion, brought additional snow, ice and freezing across the United States from Dec. 6 – 10. Winter Storm Electra began on Dec. 11 and ended on Dec. 13, but brought snow, rain and sleep primarily to the northeastern states.

The first blast was the heaviest for the west. According to the Weather Channel, by December 7 Cleon had dumped 30 in. of snow in Saddle Mountain, east central Idaho; 20 in. at Stuart Mountain in Missoula, MT; 30 in. at Blind Bull Summit in western Wyoming, 30 in. at Douglas Pass along Highway 139 in northwest Colorado, and 12 in. near Los Cerillos, New Mexico.

By December 18 the National Weather Service (NWS) National Snow Analysis map showed nearly 39 in. of snow (100 cm) across much of the higher elevations in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. On that same day the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that 62.1% of the Lower 48 states were covered by snow.

Image Facts
Satellite: Aqua
Date Acquired: 12/11/2013
Resolutions: 1km ( B), 500m ( B), 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC