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EarthWatch: Patagonia in Winter

 In June 2020, just the right weather patterns were in place to provide a clear view of the snowy landscape.
Credits

Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with the NASA Earth Observatory: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/ 

NASA Earth Observatory image by Lauren Dauphin using MODIS data from NASA EOSDIS/LANCE and GIBS/Worldview.

Image of the Day story by  Kathryn Hansen:  https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/146946/rare-peek-at-patagonia-in-winter 

Adaptation to ViewSpace by Margaret W. Carruthers and Dani Player Music from Music for Nonprofits
Transcript

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Text, Earth Watch, Exploring the Blue Planet by Satellite
 
A Rare View of Patagonia in Winter. Earth Observatory, earthobservatory.nasa.gov, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, Aqua satellite
 
In June 2020, NASA's Aqua satellite captured a rare view of Patagonia, with snow cover visible from the western slopes of the Andes Mountains in Chile all the way to the coastal lowlands in Argentina.
 
While parts of the southern Andes receive abundant precipitation, it is unusual to see so much snow in the eastern portion of Patagonia, which is typically very dry.
 
It is also rare to get such a clear view. This region of South America is typically obscured by clouds--a result of large scale weather patterns and mountainous topography.
 
But in June 2020, a high pressure system settled in just south of the continent, blocking the movement of moist air masses and bringing clear skies to the wider region.
 
The decrease in cloud cover caused an intense cold spell: Heat from the ground can escape to space more easily when the sky is clear.
 
While the bout of frigid air was extreme for the region, it was not enough to freeze the deep glacial lakes east of the ice field.
 
Lake Viedma and Lago Argentino. The turquoise color of the water-–caused by the fine sediment pulverized by glacier--stand out in sharp contrast to the bright white of snow and ice.
 
To learn more, go to: earthobservatory.nasa.gov