Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features a false-color image of the Labrador Sea with cloud streets streaming over the water.
A combination of visible and infrared light makes snow and ice appear light blue and clouds appear white.
The patterns of the cloud streets represent strong, cold winds that are blowing from north to south.
When the cold air moved across warmer ocean water, there was enough moisture to form cumulus clouds.
According to NASA, cloud streets develop when columns of air rise through the atmosphere carrying heat from the sea surface.
The image was captured by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite on March 2, 2020.
The Labrador Sea (French: mer du Labrador, Danish: Labradorhavet) is an arm of the North Atlantic Ocean between the Labrador Peninsula and Greenland. The sea is flanked by continental shelves to the southwest, northwest, and northeast. It connects to the north with Baffin Bay through the Davis Strait. It has been described as a marginal sea of the Atlantic.
The sea formed upon separation of the North American Plate and Greenland Plate that started about 60 million years ago and stopped about 40 million years ago. It contains one of the world’s largest turbidity current channel systems, the Northwest Atlantic Mid-Ocean Channel (NAMOC), that runs for thousands of kilometers along the sea bottom toward the Atlantic Ocean.
The Labrador Sea is a major source of the North Atlantic Deep Water, a cold water mass that flows at great depth along the western edge of the North Atlantic, spreading out to form the largest identifiable water mass in the World Ocean.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory