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One Last Word on Last Weekend's Snow

First, let me preface this by saying that falling snow is pretty, but it's not until that snow starts to accumulate does it become fun. If you can't make a snowman out of it or sled down a hill with it, it's not much more than a pretty picture.

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MODIS True-Color Image of Snow
By
Nate Johnson

First, let me preface this by saying that falling snow is pretty, but it's not until that snow starts to accumulate does it become fun.  If you can't make a snowman out of it or sled down a hill with it, it's not much more than a pretty picture.

So, since most folks didn't see any of last Saturday's snow stick, it really wasn't much fun.  Sure, it was nice to look at, but it didn't add up to anything. 

Or did it?

The Raleigh National Weather Service office has gone back and looked at all the observations, co-operative observer reports, and other data sources and constructed a map detailing the total snowfall for the event:

 

Analysis of snowfall reports and observations from January 19, 2008, snowfall event across North Carolina.  Assembled by NWS Raleigh.

It shows an area stretching from south of Burlington across northern Chapel Hill and up toward Roxboro where two or more inches of snow fell last Saturday.  It also shows the relatively heavier snowfall south and southwest of Fayetteville, as well.

Unfortunately for snow lovers everywhere, though, very little of that snow stuck.  The follow-up report from the Raleigh NWS blames the warm temperatures in the days preceeding the snowfall, the relatively warm ground temperatures, and the fact that the snow didn't fall very hard for much of the event as the reasons we didn't see any more accumulations.  WRAL Meteorologis Mike Moss detailed those reasons thoroughly in his blog post earlier this week.

Even though we didn't see much accumulation, it was still enough to see from space.  NASA's Terra satellite carries a special high-resolution imager called MODIS.  On Sunday, January 20th, MODIS captured this image, showing the snow across the western Triangle, as well as the heavier snow in the Sandhills:

True-color image of snowfall captured by Terra/MODIS imager on Sunday, January 20, 2008.

Hopefully, we'll see more snow before the winter is over -- snow we can not only look at but play in, as well.

 

 

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