Just how radar can “see” things other than rain and storms, satellites in space can see the ground when there are cloud-free skies.
In this case, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s satellite, known as GOES-EAST is “seeing” the snow that fell Thursday as most of the clouds associated with the storm have moved out. Visible satellite only works during the day, hence the name visible satellite. If it’s night, all you would see is a dark screen. In the daylight hours, however, anything illuminated by the sun can bee seen by the satellite.
There were still clouds over the Carolinas and Virginia Friday morning, but most of the white through Virginia and North Carolina was from the snow that fell Thursday.
This becomes more obvious if the image above was looping. The clouds, of course, would be moving, but the bright white in North Carolina and Virginia, the snow, wouldn’t move at all. You may see subtle changes in the snow cover through the day as the sun starts to melt the snow, especially where accumulations were on the lighter side.
The GOES-EAST spacecraft that made these observations was launched from Cape Canaveral on a United Launch Alliance rocket in 2016.
Good morning, everyone. As sunlight sweeps over the nation, snow cover across the northern tier of states - and much more - is revealed in our visible satellite imagery.— National Weather Service (@NWS) February 20, 2020
How's the weather in your neck of the woods?
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