The Pacific Northwest

The Pacific Northwest
  • Credit:

    Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Mountains and valleys are strikingly detailed by a covering of snow in this true-color Terra MODIS image of the North American Pacific Northwest. The Canadian provinces of British Columbia (top center) and Alberta (top right) are almost completely snow-covered, which allows a number of lakes and inlets to show where otherwise they would be difficult to distinguish. The inlets on British Columbia's coast, across from Vancouver Island, stretch quite far inland, rivaling the renowned fjords of Sweden. The lakes, which sit in the numerous valleys created by the many separate ranges that make up the northern Rocky Mountains, show up as thin ribbons of black against the snowy land.

On the US side of the border, the snows skirt the Pacific coast, southeastern Washington, and north central Oregon. A lonely, roughly circular spot of snow tops the Olympic Mountains east of Seattle (on the eastern bank of Puget Sound), while a slim stretch of snow follows the Cascade Mountains south. In the bottom right corner, snows highlight the stretch of the Blue Mountains eastward toward Idaho´s Salmon River Mountains. This true-color image was acquired February 24, 2003.

Images & Animations


File Dimensions

  • 1100x850
  • JPEG 314 KB
  • 2200x1700
  • JPEG 1 MB
  • 4400x3400
  • JPEG 3 MB

Note: Often times, due to the size, browsers have a difficult time opening and displaying images. If you experiece an error when clicking on an image link, please try directly downloading the image (using a right click, save as method) to view it locally.


  • Data Date:

    February 24, 2003
  • Visualization Date:

    February 27, 2003
  • Sensor(s):

    Terra - MODIS
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration