Video: Satellite Views of the “Christmas Blizzard”

by Nancy Atkinson on December 27, 2010

The Christmas Blizzard of 2010 dumped up to 30 inches of snow in the northeast United States, with winds gusts up to 60 mph. An Earth-orbiting satellite, GOES-13 captured a series of visible images of the storm, showing its progression. News reports from New York City say this is the sixth largest snowstorm in the city’s history and it buried the streets in four-foot drifts, bringing transit to a halt with cars and buses stranded in the streets.

Snowfall ranged from 1.5 inches in Atlanta, Georgia to more than two feet in various areas of New Jersey, New York and the New England states.

On Monday, Dec. 27 at 1731 UTC (12:31 p.m. EST) the GOES-13 satellite captured this visible image of the powerful low pressure system that brought snows from Georgia to Maine along the US east coast. Some of the snowfall can be seen over South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and southeastern New York. The clouds of the low obscure New England in the image. Credit: NOAA/NASA GOES Project

Some of those snows are visible in the above GOES-13 satellite image. Snowfall on the ground can be seen in the image over South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and southeastern New York. The clouds of the low obscure New England in the image.

Photographer Michael Black took an amazing timelapse of the blizzard, with a Canon DLSR on tripod with remote timer taking a photo once every five minutes (approximately 20 hours in 40 seconds.) — and obviously having to go outside and readjust the clock and markers.

December 2010 Blizzard Timelapse from Michael Black on Vimeo.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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