Satellite Sees Major Winter Storm Ready to Wallop Mid-Atlantic



Washington, DC, United States

A major winter storm is poised to wallop the Mid-Atlantic and bring large amounts of snow to cities including Baltimore, Md., Washington, D.C. area on March 2 and 3, according to NOAA's National Weather Service. NOAA's GOES-East satellite captured this image of the clouds associated with the winter storm as it continued moving east toward those cities.

On March 2, the National Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Md. noted that there is a slight risk for severe thunderstorms over parts of the western Gulf Coast and the Lower Mississippi Valley as a result of the southern portion of the system. The update at 7 a.m. EST noted that freezing rain/sleet is possible over parts of the lower Mississippi Valley and parts of the central Appalachians, while eastern Texas and the lower Mississippi Valley into the Ohio Valley are expected to experience heavy rain.

The NWS Short Range Forecast Discussion stated "A strong storm over the Southern Plains/Lower Mississippi Valley will advance northeastward along a quasi-stationary front to off the Southern Mid-Atlantic Coast by Monday evening. Moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will overrun and pool along the associated front producing an area of snow extending from the Central Plains into the Northeast."

The clouds are associated with a cold from that stretches from eastern Maine through Maryland and west into the Tennessee Valley. The low pressure center associated with the front was located over Arkansas. At NASA/NOAA's GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. the cloud data from NOAA's GOES-East satellite were overlaid 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 position of this major winter storm.

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.

For updated information about the storm system, visit NOAA's NWS website: www.weather.gov

For more information about GOES satellites, visit: www.goes.noaa.gov/ or goes.gsfc.nasa.gov/

Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

NASA image use policy.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.


  • Title: Satellite Sees Major Winter Storm Ready to Wallop Mid-Atlantic
  • Date Created: 2017-12-08
  • Location: Greenbelt, MD
  • Rights: GSFC
  • Album: ayoung

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