Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features long, thin cloud bands that are stretched over the Great Lakes of North America. According to NASA, blasts of cold wind blowing south from the Arctic or the Canadian interior often stir up snowy weather and freeze the Great Lakes, and these winds can also create “cloud streets” – features that look like white highways across the sky.
NASA explains that cloud streets are parallel bands of cumulus clouds that form when frigid air near the surface blows over warmer waters, while a warmer air layer rests over the top of both. This phenomenon is known as a temperature inversion.
In the early part of winter, as the Great Lakes are still cooling down from summer, cloud streets are more likely to emerge.
The image was captured on January 10, 2022 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory
By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer