Snow Cover from Space
January 26, 2004
Most of the "white" over South Dakota on this visible satellite image from GOES-12 on November 25, 2003, represents snow cover. The dark, serpentine imprint of the Missouri River, whose headwaters are in Montana, indicates a clear sky over much of South Dakota, although there are some clouds over the southwest, south-central and northeast parts of the state. Note the dark splotch over southwestern South Dakota. This "splotch" represents the Black Hills. Although the sky is mostly clear over the snow-covered Black Hills, forests of ponderosa pines have a much lower albedo than the surrounding snow-covered areas that have few trees.