July 26, 2020 - New Zealand

New Zealand

Snow capped the peaks of New Zealand’s Southern Alps while fog filled the valleys on a winter morning in mid-July 2020. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board NASA’s Terra satellite acquired a true-color image of the scene on July 17.

Frost, fog, and snow are all common sights in New Zealand in winter time. Fog is a low-lying type of cloud composed of tiny water droplets suspended in the air. Inland, the typical fog is radiation fog, which usually forms in clear, calm conditions at night. The cooling of the land surface chills the air close to the surface, reducing the air’s ability to hold moisture and triggering condensation and fog formation.

In low-elevation areas, radiation fog usually fades as the Sun warms the land surface. At higher elevations, areas of areas of fog can linger throughout the day. In this case, most of the fog dissipated as the temperatures rose through the day.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 7/17/2020
Bands Used:
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC