Published: March 14,2017
The high-impact nor'easter known as Winter Storm Stella made for some compelling meteorological imagery as it gathered steam late Monday into Tuesday.
(STELLA: What's Happened So Far)
This first water vapor satellite image is Stella as it began to intensify in the East Monday evening. At that time, the initial development of its surface low-pressure system took place just off the Southeast coast.
Below is the same water vapor satellite imagery, except on Tuesday afternoon, which illustrates the mature low-pressure system that had developed off the East Coast by then. Stella's low-pressure center had undergone bombogenesis – a rapid drop in atmospheric pressure – by this point.
(MORE: Stella Undergoes Bombogenesis)
In orange is drier air aloft punching into the west side of the storm, while the green shadings depict higher cloud tops and moisture in the atmosphere.
NASAYou can see how the strengthening of Stella's area of low pressure took place over time in this water vapor animation from NOAA's new GOES-16 satellite.
GOES-16 also provided this up-close visible satellite imagery of Stella in the mid-Atlantic region. Visible satellite imagery gives a general idea of what the clouds look like with the naked eye from space.
Here is a wider visible satellite image of Stella as the sun was setting Tuesday early evening.
Observed snowfall totals from Stella through 3 p.m. EDT Tuesday are plotted on this next graphic. You can see how the higher amounts (orange and red) from the storm increased greatly just west of the Interstate 95 corridor.
The lower snowfall totals near the coast compared to the interior of the region was the result of Stella's low-pressure center tracking closer to the coast than previously expected. That brought in warmer air and caused many locations near I-95 to see mixed precipitation rather than all snow.
(MORE: Did the Forecast Bust?)
(NOAA)Next is this surface weather map that shows the intense area of low pressure (red L) associated with Stella near Long Island, New York, at 2 p.m. EDT Tuesday. The circular lines surrounding the low are isobars, which depict areas with the same atmospheric pressure around the low. When many isobars are packed together around the low, as in this image, it indicates a very strong storm.
(NOAA)MORE: Winter Storm Stella
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