Snowstorm covers Western United States

Snowstorm covers Western United States

In much of the western United States, Thanksgiving Day came with a coating of snow. Ski resorts from Lake Tahoe to the Colorado Rockies reported several feet of snow from a storm system that passed through in the days before, bringing an early opening to the ski season. Travelers throughout the West, however, did not share skiers’ enthusiasm for the weather; winter weather advisories were causing flight delays and cancellations throughout the region. The same storm system that brought as much as six inches of snow to Utah and Idaho on November 23 also brought heavy snow to North Dakota and Minnesota the next day. Severe wind chill conditions were reported throughout the Great Plains on November 25.

This image shows a portion of the western U.S. on November 25, 2010 (Thanksgiving Day). It was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite. Snow decorates the ground from California’s Sierra range eastward throughout Nevada, Utah, and Colorado, ending at the front range of the Rockies in Colorado. Further north, the snow runs solidly from Oregon to Idaho and Wyoming.

The high-resolution image provided above is at MODIS’ full spatial resolution (level of detail) of 250 meters per pixel. The MODIS Rapid Response System provides this image at additional resolutions.

  1. References

  2. CNN (2010, November 25). Snow, mixed precipitation challenges travelers. Accessed November 26, 2010.
  3. Fast Track Ski (2010, November 25). Big Snow Out West. Accessed November 26, 2010.

Images & Animations


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  • KMZ 11 KB

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  • Data Date:

    November 25, 2010
  • Visualization Date:

    November 26, 2010
  • Sensor(s):

    Terra - MODIS
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration