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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 15:44 EDT
New Zealands Southern Alps
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New Zealand's Southern Alps

April 2, 2003
The rugged Southern Alps extend some 650 kilometers along the western side of New Zealand's South Island. The mountains are often obscured by clouds, which is probably why the Maoris called New Zealand "Aotearoa", the long white cloud. The higher peaks are snow-covered all year round. Westerly winds bring clouds that drop over 500 centimeters of rain annually on luxuriant rain forest along the west coast. The drier eastern seaboard is home to the majority of the island's population. This pair of MISR images is from April 13, 2000