This Satellite View of the Snowstorm Battering Northeastern US Is Just Mesmerizing

Views of Earth from space are typically amazing, but this view from the GOES-East weather satellite is just hypnotic, showing a top view of the powerful snowstorm over the northeastern United States Wednesday (March 7). 

The short animation shows convective clouds in motion as the storm, a nor'easter, dumped more than a foot of snow on some parts of the northeastern states. [Amazing Earth Photos by GOES-16 ]

"Check out these convective clouds: NOAA's #GOESEast satellite got a nice close-up of today's #noreaster bringing heavy snow (and #thundersnow) to the Northeast U.S.," the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) wrote in a Twitter post. NOAA oversees the GOES-East satellite mission.

Convective clouds are cumulus clouds formed by the heating of the ground by the sun, according to Live Science,'s sister site. Thundersnow occurs when a winter thunderstorm brings snow instead of rain. 

In the short animation, the clouds undulate and ripple as if alive as GOES-East looks on. It's an example of the beauty that comes with some of Earth's stormy fury.

Here are a few more views from GOES-East (also known as GOES-16) from NOAA and NASA: 

The GOES-East satellite launched in 2016 as the first of a pair of advanced weather-tracking satellites. Its partner, GOES-S, launched into space March 1  and will be known as GOES-17 and GOES-West when it enters operation. GOES is short for Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite.

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.