Nighttime View Of Christmas Snowstorm

December 30, 2002


Provided by: Hank Brandli, Defense Meteorological Satellite Program
Summary authors & editors: Hank Brandli; Jim Foster

Last week's Christmas Eve and Christmas Day snowstorm resulted in a White Christmas for much of the Mid West and northeastern US. The above view shows the aftermath of the storm at night (imaged on December 26). In parts of New York and New England, the snow accumulated to more than 20 inches (50 cm). Taken in visible light from one of the DMSP satellites, cities and towns shine like Christmas lights, and large urban complexes seem to emit a warm glow on this cold, crystal clear night over eastern North America. The light emanating from the cities is enhanced and also somewhat blurred by the fresh snow cover. Nighttime lights are detected with the DMSP's Operational Linescan System, which at night, employs a light-sensitive photomultiplier tube. At the time this image was taken, the Moon had not yet risen.

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