NASA's GEOS-5 provides a satellite view of historic winter storm

The NASA GEOS-5 atmospheric data assimilation system followed an historic winter storm as it approaches the mid-Atlantic this weekend 2016 January 22-24 where it produced a wide swath of more than 2 feet of snow. The simulated field visualized here is outgoing longwave radiation (OLR). Clouds block longwave radiation that is emitted from the Earth's surface producing cold OLR values in regions of thick/deep cloudiness. Thus, OLR provides a satellite-eye view of clouds from storm systems around the globe, including the developing blizzard across the eastern United States.