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US Northwest
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US Northwest

February 20, 2005
Low clouds and winter snows bring splashes of white to the mountains and plains of the United States northwest, shown here in this true-color Aqua MODIS image from February 2, 2005. The Cascade and Coast Mountains create a fat ribbon of green snaking down the coast, while high-altitude agricultural plains and deserts are a slumbering tan stretching away to the east. The Columbia River marks the boundary between Washington and Oregon, and provides irrigation water to the agricultural land of Washington's interior. The Cascade Range blocks moisture coming in from the Pacific Ocean, creating the arid conditions of the Columbia Plateau to the east. Just north of the bank of low clouds at image center is the city of Portland. The city is a spidery grey spot against the green vegetation. Just off the coast of the Oregon-California border (at image bottom) are curls of blue-green sediment deposited by rivers emptying into the Pacific Ocean.


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