Emerald Isle was swathed in white on December 22, 2010, when the
MODIS instrument aboard the Terra satellite passed overhead,
capturing this true-color image.
Credit: NASA Goddard/MODIS Rapid Response Team, Jeff
The Mid-Atlantic and northeastern
U.S. were not the only areas dealing with holiday snowfall.
Ireland (usually) enjoys a "temperate ocean climate" (Cfb) based
on the Koopen climate classification system. Such climates normally
enjoy cool, cloud-covered summers and mild winters. Ireland’s climate is
(usually) moderated by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, which
flows off the western shore. Snow commonly falls only in the highest
elevations; dustings may occur elsewhere a few times each year.
Significant accumulations anywhere in the country are rare.
The winter of 2009-2010 was unusually cold and snowy. Called “The Big
Freeze” by the British media, it brought widespread transportation
problems, school closings, power failures and twenty five deaths. A low
of -22.3°C (-8.1°F) was recorded on January 8, 2010, making it the
coldest winter since 1978/79.
Although it has just begun, the winter of 2010-2011 threatens to be just
as challenging. The earliest widespread snowfall since 1993 occurred on
November 24, primarily affecting Great Britain and Scotland. Two days
later snow began to cover Ireland, and the continuing severe weather has
taken a toll. It has disrupted air, road and rail travel, closed schools
and businesses, and caused power outages. Livestock and horses have had
difficulty finding grass to eat, some relying on volunteer feeding
efforts for survival. Local temperature records were broken, including a
new record low for Northern Ireland of -18.7°C (-2°F) at Castlederg on
December 23. As of that date, 20 deaths had been attributed to the
winter weather and associated hazards.
29 Dec 10 - By Jeff Schmaltz
MODIS Land Rapid Response Team
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
Murray Strand for this link