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Clear Alaskan Skies
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Clear Alaskan Skies

July 1, 2013
In late June, 2013 a high pressure ridge pushed clouds away from Alaska, allowing for a clear-sky view of the greening land. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) flying aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured this true-color image on June 19, 2013.

In the far north snow covered the land and ice remained in the ocean and lakes. The Brooks Range, in the north, and the Chugach Mountains and Alaska Range, in the south, wore a mantle of white on the high peaks, while at the mountain’s bases and valleys the boreal forest appeared green.

The Yukon River appeared to be ice-free for most of its length. Situated in the center of the image, the tan-colored waters of this river wind through the boreal forest. It is the longest river in Alaska and the third longest in the United States.

The same high pressure ridge that cleared Alaska’s skies over several days also brought stifling heat to many areas accustomed to chilly June days. Talkeetna, a town about 100 miles north of Anchorage, saw temperatures reach 90 F (36 C) on June 17. Other towns in southern Alaska set all-time record highs this week, including Cordova, Valez and Seward. The high temperatures also helped fuel wildfires, two of which can be seen burning in the forest of southwest Alaska.

Credits: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC



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