NASA's AIRS Instrument Captures Data on Monster Winter Storm Affecting 30 States
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On Jan. 31, 2011, the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured infrared imagery of the one of the largest winter storms since the 1950s, affecting 30 U.S. states with snow, sleet, and rain, including freezing rain. The image, a composite of AIRS data swaths, shows the early stages of the developing storm in the plains and Midwestern states, highlighting a preponderance of cold air in Canada and the northern U.S.
A visible image (Figure 1) created from AIRS data on Jan. 31 shows thickening clouds along a developing intense front in the plains and Midwestern states that would produce excessive snow, freezing rain, sleet and wind. The associated low pressure area guiding the storm was forecast to slide from Texas through the Mississippi Valley, Ohio Valley and then into New England.
More information about AIRS can be found at http://airs.jpl.nasa.gov.