November 27, 2009 - Snow over the Rockies

Snow over the Rockies

Snow covers the Rocky Mountains in the western United States in this image captured by the MODIS on the Terra satellite on November 17, 2009. The Rockies run from the western US into western Canada.

This region of the country is rich in National Parks and interesting visual features. It is worth examining the higher resolution images to try and spot some of them. You can trace the Colorado River across the pink deserts in the southeast corner of Utah and into northern Arizona where it runs through the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is in the northwest corner of Arizona running approximately horizontally. The Painted Desert, pink and orange in color, is to its east, running southwards.

The large half green and half purple lake in Utah is the famous Great Salt Lake. The distinctly different coloration between the northern and southern arms is the result of a rock-filled causeway built in 1953 to support a permanent railroad. The causeway has resulted in decreased circulation between the two arms and higher salinity on the northern side.

Further south in Utah, there are two other beautiful National Parks, Bryce and Zion. Both are located near the southern border of Utah with Arizona, just north of the Grand Canyon. Zion is further west. Near the southwest corner of Utah, in Nevada, you can see Lake Mead running along the border of Arizona. Las Vegas is near the western tip of the Lake.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 11/17/2009
Resolutions: 1km ( B), 500m ( B), 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC