Snow Cover from Space

January 26, 2004


Referred by: Lee Grenci, Department of Meteorology, Penn State University
Summary authors & editors: Lee Grenci

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.

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