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Texas' 'White Gold' Seen From Space

Texas record snowfall from space
NASA's Suomi NPP satellite captured this visible-light image of Monday's record-setting snowfall in Texas. (Image credit: NASA/NOAA)

In the Texas Panhandle, black gold comes from oil wells and white gold falls as flakes from the sky.

The drought-strapped region was smothered with up to 18 inches (45 centimeters) of white gold Monday (Feb. 25) as a strong winter snowstorm blasted through from Colorado.

NASA's Suomi NPP satellite snapped a picture of the storm's aftermath from space on Feb. 26. The image shows snow blanketing the Texas Panhandle and part of Oklahoma, with clouds swirling across Kansas as the storm continues its march across the Plains.

In this thermal image of Monday's record-setting snowfall across the Texas Panhandle, red areas are snow whereas the lighter pink and white areas are clouds. (Image credit: NASA/NOAA)

The system dropped a record-setting 17 inches (43 cm) of snow in Amarillo, Texas, and blew gusts up to 75 mph (121 km/h) at the Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport.

In Wichita, Kan., the blizzards brought the city its highest monthly snowfall ever recorded, 21 inches (53 cm). The previous record of 20.5 inches (52 cm) was set in 1913. The deep snow pile accumulated in less than a week, thanks to two large storm systems that have hit the region since Feb. 20, according to the National Weather Service.

Reach Becky Oskin at boskin@techmedianetwork.com. Follow her on Twitter @beckyoskin. Follow OurAmazingPlanet on Twitter @OAPlanet. We're also on Facebook and Google+.

Becky Oskin
Contributing Writer
Becky Oskin covers Earth science, climate change and space, as well as general science topics. Becky was a science reporter at Live Science and The Pasadena Star-News; she has freelanced for New Scientist and the American Institute of Physics. She earned a master's degree in geology from Caltech, a bachelor's degree from Washington State University, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz.