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Panoramic Satellite Photo Captures U.S. Snowfall

Satellite photo shows U.S. snowfall across 30 states
Snowfall across 30 U.S. States last week followed by the aftermath of the Groundhog Day blizzard shows snow from the Great Plains to New England under the cold and clear skies that followed. The storms made for a nice snowy satellite-view panorama in this Feb. 3, 2011 GOES-13 satellite image captured at 1445 UTC (11:45 a.m. EST). (Image credit: NOAA/NASA GOES Project)

Last week 30 U.S. states were affected by a massive winter storm that plowed over the country. NASA satellites have captured the aftermath of the whopper storm with a panorama of snow on the ground across the country.

The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) cover the U.S. weather. A Feb. 3 GOES-13 image provided a snowy panorama of the United States. and showed the snowfall on the ground in many of those 30 U.S. states from last week's giant storm. Last week's storm brought snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain from Texas and the Rockies to the New England states.

In satellite imagery, snow visibility depends on snow depth, terrain, and civilization.

"Wooded regions like the Appalachians and Midwest river valleys can remain dark even with a foot of snow on the ground," Dennis Chesters, a NASA GOES Project scientist at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., said in a NASA statement. "Metropolitan areas like Chicago are dark due to urban development like cleared highways and parking lots."

Usually in mid-winter, Lake Erie is lightly frozen over as it appeared in the February 3 GOES-13 image.

"Lake Erie is more easily chilled than the other Great Lakes because it is the shallowest -- waters along the northern shore are open because prevailing northwest winds push the lake ice away from the Canadian shore," Chesters said.

This story was provided by OurAmazingPlanet, a sister site to SPACE.com.

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