Satellite imagery is one tool meteorologists use to monitor weather conditions. One of the more well known types of satellite imagery is visible satellite imagery, which works by essentially taking a picture, just as you would with a camera, from a satellite located over 22,000 miles above the surface of the Earth. Although meteorologists generally utilize this imagery to study cloud patterns and movement, other items of interest are also often noted. One such item, often observed on clear days during the winter, is the presence of snowpack across the United States. Visible satellite imagery from Thursday presented just such an opportunity! The image below shows snowpack across the Central Plains. Notice the sharp cut off in snow across southern Kansas!
In addition...snowpack often times reveals things that would not otherwise be seen on visible satellite imagery, such as rivers, lakes, and in some cases towns and cities. We have pointed out a few such features on the image below, can you find any others?
Click on the image to enlarge...
If you would like to monitor the snowpack across your area, go to http://www.goes.noaa.gov/browse2.html
This link will take you to recent visible satellite imagery. Remember...in order to view snowpack, this image must be viewed during daylight with clear skies overhead!
Finally, if you would like more information on weather observation satellites, visit the NOAA Satellite and Information Service at: http://noaasis.noaa.gov/NOAASIS/ml/genlsatl.html