April 15, 2024 - Clouds Surrounding the Channel Islands

Channel Islands

A broad cloud blank sprawled over the Pacific Ocean off of Southern California on April 11, 2024. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) acquired this true-color image of the scene on that same day.

While the ocean is cloud-covered, most of the land is clear, providing a view of the Channel Islands as well as the large city of Los Angeles. The city appears as an expansive area of cement-toned gray along the coast on the right side of the image. Fog fills the valleys of the inland mountains northeast of Los Angeles.

Two small holes are visible near the center of the cloud bank and between the long, rectangular-shaped San Clemente Island and rounder San Nicolas Island. These have not formed over land. Instead they represent swirling eddies in the atmosphere. Most likely the eddies formed from turbulence created as wind swept over one of the islands. Turbulence is common in the atmosphere, but it only becomes visible when the sky is covered in cloud.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 4/11/2024
Resolutions: 1km (133.9 KB), 500m (404 KB), 250m (840.4 KB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC