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GOES-13 Satellite Captures Powerful Snowmaker Leaving New England

Snows are finally winding down in New England yesterday, Dec. 27, as a powerful low pressure system brought blizzard conditions from northern New Jersey to Maine over Christmas weekend. The GOES-13 satellite captured an image of the low's center off the Massachusetts coast and saw the snowfall left behind.

The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite called GOES-13 captured the visible image. GOES satellites are operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and NASA's GOES Project, located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. creates some of the GOES satellite images and animations.

As of 1:30 p.m. EST, all blizzard warnings were canceled as the low has pulled much of its snow and rain away from land areas and into the North Atlantic Ocean. The winds behind the system are now causing more problems for residents along the U.S. East coast.

Snowfall ranged from 1.5 inches in Atlanta, Georgia to more than a foot in various areas of New Jersey, New York and the New England states. Near Wallops Island, Va. where NASA has a facility, more than 11 inches of snow was reported this morning. Newark, N.J. reported 17.7 inches of snow by midnight last night. Central Park in New York City reported 12.0 inches of snow had fallen just before midnight. Providence, Rhode Island reported 7.9 inches by midnight, while Boston, Mass. reported 9.9 inches at that time. More snow fell on top of those totals during the morning hours today.

Some of those snows are visible in today's GOES-13 satellite image. Snowfall on the ground can be seen in the image over South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and southeastern New York. The clouds of the low obscure New England in the image.

From Maine south to the Carolinas winds are howling in excess of 30 mph, and power outages could occur as a result of the winds and the areas with the heaviest snows. The winds in Portland, Maine today are blowing from the northwest from 20 to 30 mph with gusts over 40 mph. Yesterday in Newark, N.J. sustained winds of 41 mph were reported with gusts as high as 51 mph. Going further south, the Raleigh, N.C. National Weather Service noted that sustained northwest winds of 10 to 20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph are expected today. Even further south, Atlanta, Georgia is also experiencing winds up to 20 mph today.

The winds are making clean-up efforts difficult along the east coast, but as temperatures are expected to slowly and steadily climb over the course of the week travel will become easier every day.

Rob Gutro | EurekAlert!
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