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Posted by Laurie Frost on December 31, 2010

Here are a handful of snowflakes, courtesy of the NOAA Photo Library National Weather Service (NWS) Collection.

Image 890 of "Studies among the Snow Crystals ... " by Wilson Bentley, "The Snowflake Man." From Annual Summary of the "Monthly Weather Review" for 1902. Bentley was a bachelor farmer whose hobby was photographing snow flakes. ID# wea02098


Image 814 of "Studies among the Snow Crystals ... " by Wilson Bentley. ID# wea02094


Plate XIX of "Studies among the Snow Crystals ... " by Wilson Bentley. ID# wea02087

There are 24 similar plates at the site.

These next images are nearly a hundred years more recent. They are courtesy of the NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory. The first is from December 28,2010.


Air traffic was snarled across the country as the Christmas 2010 snow storm moved along with eastern seaboard. Signs that things are returning to normal are evident, though, in this true color image from the NASA MODIS satellite sensor taken on December 28, 2010. Clearly visible is the snow left on the ground after the storm, but it is also possible to see contrails from aircraft in the clouds surrounding the Delaware Bay between the New Jersey and Delaware-Maryland Peninsula. The contrails appear as wisps of white moving against the apparent flow of the clouds. Other interesting features in this image include the complete lack of snowfall on the island of Nantucket (far top right), along with the phytoplankton blooms off of the New England coast.

The next two are before and after the December 2010 Christmas storm. First, before, on December 24.

And after, on December 27.


A large winter storm system rolled across the Eastern U.S. Saturday through Monday from Georgia to New England. Though accumulations were minor in most regions, air traffic, especially into New England has been snarled during one of the busiest times of the year. The extent of the snow cover can be seen in this image from the GOES-East satellite, taken on December 27, 2010 at 1650Z. White can be seen covering much of North Carolina, the Delmarva Peninsula, and New Jersey. A large, unimpacted area is also visible in the Virginia through Pennsylvania areas. Remnants of the storm can be seen moving out to see near Nova Scotia. The cyclonic shape of the storm is indicative of the system's low pressure.


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