Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features the first significant snowfall of the 2023 snow season in the Rocky Mountains
“A cold front swept across several western states in mid-October 2023, delivering the first significant snowfall of the season to the Rocky Mountains,” said NASA.
“The front brought wind gusts, freezing temperatures, and precipitation to Colorado and Wyoming on October 12 and 13 – and covered some high peaks of the Rockies with up to a foot of snow.”
The Rocky Mountains stretch more than 3,000 miles from British Columbia in Canada to New Mexico in the U.S.
Snow is a significant feature of the Rockies. Given the high altitudes, many areas receive snow year-round. Peaks and high-altitude locations can have snow even during the summer months.
The Rockies are renowned for winter sports. Skiing and snowboarding are popular activities, with numerous ski resorts spread throughout Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and other parts of the mountain range.
With heavy snowfall comes the risk of avalanches. It’s important for backcountry skiers and hikers to be aware of avalanche conditions, especially after heavy snowfalls or rapidly changing weather.
In the spring and early summer, melting snow feeds rivers and streams throughout the Rockies. This snowmelt is a critical source of water for the region.
The image was captured on October 15, 2023 by the MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) instrument on NASA’s Terra satellite, when snow was still visible.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory
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