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Rare Snowfalls in U.S. Southern States

(Image: © MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA.)

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite caught this unusual view of snow across the southern United States on Jan. 12, 2011.

The swath of white follows the track of a winter storm that moved across the country between Jan. 9 and Jan. 11, according to a NASA statement. The rare snow led governors in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee to declare emergencies, reported the Associated Press.

From the distance of space, the snow is serene. The blanket of white highlights the countless rivers and lakes that branch from the Mississippi River. It emphasizes the east-west contour of the Ouachita Mountains in western Arkansas. Lines of clouds hide the snowy landscape in Alabama and Tennessee and states to the east.