Satellite video captures the eastern US winter storm track

Mar 04, 2014

As NOAA's GOES-East satellite sat in a fixed orbit in space it monitored and provided visible and infrared imagery of the major winter storm that hit the U.S. east coast on March 2 and 3. Now, that data has been compiled and made into a video at NASA.

On March 2 and 3, a major winter storm brought snow to the mid-Atlantic, freezing rain to the Carolinas and rain and some to the Gulf Coast states. Visible and over those two days captured by NOAA's GOES-East or GOES-13 satellite were compiled into a video made by NASA/NOAA's GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

"This storm confirms the ancient adage that 'March comes in like a lion,'" said Dennis Chesters of the NASA/NOAA GOES Project at Goddard. Hopefully it will follow the saying and the month will "go out like a lamb."

To create the video and imagery, NASA/NOAA's GOES Project takes the cloud data from NOAA's GOES-East satellite and overlays it on a true-color image of land and ocean created by data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS, instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua and Terra satellites. Together, those data created the entire picture of the storm and show its movement. After the system passes, the snow on the ground becomes visible.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
This animation of NOAA's GOES satellite data shows the progression of the major winter storm over the US Mid-Atlantic and southern states on Mar. 2 and 3. Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project, Dennis Chesters

GOES satellites provide the kind of continuous monitoring necessary for intensive data analysis. Geostationary describes an orbit in which a satellite is always in the same position with respect to the rotating Earth. This allows GOES to hover continuously over one position on Earth's surface, appearing stationary. As a result, GOES provide a constant vigil for the atmospheric "triggers" for severe weather conditions such as tornadoes, flash floods, hail storms and hurricanes.

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