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Cloud Streets Along the Alaskan Peninsula
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Cloud Streets Along the Alaskan Peninsula

April 25, 2013
Alaska is icy white in this Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image, taken on February 1, 2006, by NASA’s Aqua satellite. It is likely that strong winds were blowing from the northwest when this image was taken. The clouds are lined up in neat rows from northwest to southeast as if a giant comb had arranged them. Cloud patterns are often a good way to visualize how the air that shapes them is moving. Underneath the clouds on the left, the Bering Sea is covered with sea ice. Dark water is visible through cracks in the ice. On the right side of the image, the Augustine volcano was erupting. MODIS detected a hot spot, marked in red, near the volcano’s summit. A slightly tan plume of ash and steam blows southeast from the volcano. According to the Alaska Volcano Observatory, the volcano was emitting a continuous plume of volcanic ash, accompanied by low-level explosions and pyroclastic flows of hot ash and rock fragments. Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC