As icy cold Canadian air settled over the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. bringing snow and bitter cold, NOAA's GOES-East satellite captured this infrared view of what looks like a frozen blanket over the region.
NOAA's GOES-East satellite provides visible and infrared images over the eastern U.S. and the Atlantic Ocean from its fixed orbit in space. In an infrared image taken on Nov. 18 at 12:30 UTC (7:30 a.m. EST), the cold air over the eastern and central U.S. appears to look like a blanket of white, but it's not all snow. Infrared data shows temperature, so although the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. appears to appear is if snow covers the ground, the blanket is in fact cold clouds. However, snow does lie under that blanket in the Upper Midwest, Ohio Valley, and Canada, where it will continue in those areas through Thursday, Nov. 20.
"Dozens of lakes behind dams in the Southeast USA stand out as dark spots in a grey landscape," said Dennis Chesters of NASA/NOAA's GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "That is because we invert the display of infrared emission to make cold cloud tops appear white, frozen land grey, and warm water dark."
NOAA's National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center said that the deep low pressure system pushing that polar air over the Eastern U.S. is centered over southeastern Canada. On Tuesday, Nov. 18, freeze and frost warnings stretch from the upper Great Lakes to Florida. Some areas in the Upper Great Lakes are forecast to receive over two feet of snow. Well below average temperatures are forecast to reach the Gulf Coast, with most of the Mid-Atlantic States barely getting above freezing Tuesday and Wednesday. In the Midwest, periods of lake effect snow are forecast to continue south and east of the Great Lakes through Wednesday.
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