Snow, fog, and low clouds in Central Europe
Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
Capped with silvery white snow, the Alps arc gracefully across northern Italy, Switzerland, Austria, and southern Germany and France in this photo-like image. When the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image on February 2, 2006, fair weather dominated the region around the Alps. However, the clear skies may not have lasted long: to the north a large bank of low clouds sits over the rest of Western Europe. Fog creeps into the valleys of southern France, creamy white filling the crevasses between the brilliant white of the snowy peaks. The distinction between cloud and snow is easier to see in the false-color image, where snow is bright blue and cloud is pale blue and white.
Both true- and false-color images reveal that snow covered much of the cloud-free area to the north of the Alps in the upper right. The Plain of Lombardy in northern Italy is also covered with snow, with cities creating dark dots in the field of white (or blue, in the false color image). The largest city seen here is Milano (Milan). In the large images, the network of roads that connect the cities is also visible, a web of thin lines against the snow.
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