Melting snow from warm winter temperatures as well as additional rainfall have combined to create small, localized flooding events in the Hudson River valley. During the week of January 17, 2005, temperatures in the region soared to over 15 degrees Celsius (60 degrees Fahrenheit). According to the Associated Press, strong winds associated with the January 17 storm downed powerlines and left hundreds of thousands without power. Downed trees and continued high winds disrupted commuter and rail traffic and caused delays of several hours at area airports. Satellite images such as this one are used in weather forecasting and as a flood hazard early warning system. The ability to map the land area covered by snow and ice on a nearly continuous basis allows for monitoring of potential flooding. This region in particular is highly susceptible to flooding because of the large amount of winter precipitation that it receives, as well as the large amounts of coastline, major rivers and increasingly large urbanized areas.
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