Southwestern United States

The western coast of the United States is featured in these true-color Aqua and Terra MODIS images from early February 2003. Snows dust the mountains in much of the scene, highlighting a number of ranges, such as the Coastal Range of Washington, Oregon, and northern California; the Sierra Nevada Range along the border of Nevada; and the Rocky Mountain Range, which runs from southwestern Canada, through the western United States, and down into Mexico, where it splits into two branches, the Sierra Madre Occidental (western) and Sierra Madre Oriental (eastern). The MODIS instruments also detected a number of fires, which are marked in red. Some of the fires show visible smoke plumes in the higher resolutions of the images.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Southern New England

The brilliant orange of autumn has faded into the deep brown hues of late fall in the U.S. New England States. Several large cities are visible as grey patches in this Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image taken on October 9, 2003 by the Terra satellite. Along the bottom left, New York City straddles the western shores of Long Island and the southeastern shore of New York. Boston is northeast of Cape Cod, the hook-shaped land jutting into the Atlantic. Due west of Cape Cod, on the northern point of Narragansett Bay, is Providence, Rhode Island.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Eastern United States

The eastern United States, from the Canada-US border in the north to northern Florida in the south, shows clearly in this true-color Terra MODIS image from April 13, 2003. Ice and snow had finally retreated from the region with the onset of spring, though plant life was only newly awakened. Running diagonally southwest through the image are the Appalachian Mountains, which appear as ribbons of brownish-red against the green plants. Out in the Atlantic, the Gulf Stream is visible as a wide streak of lighter blue against the normal deep blue water. The Gulf Stream is a warm, relatively fast-moving current of water that is born in the Gulf of Mexico and flows all the way to the UK and western Europe, influencing climate all along the way.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Fires in Idaho and western Montana

This image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite from July 22, 2003, shows numerous fires burning in Montana (right) and Idaho (left). The active fires have been marked with red dots.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Wheat stubble fires in eastern Washington and Idaho

Fall has arrived in the Northern Hemisphere, and that means its harvest time. In the wheat fields of Washington and Idaho in the northwestern United States, scattered fires (red dots) burn through the wheat stubble. Because of the semi-arid climate of this region, wheat is an important crop. Washington is the third-largest wheat producer in the US, and Idaho is the eighth. Surrounding the tan wheat fields are the Cascade Mountains (west), the Bitterroot Range (east), and the Blue Mountains (south). Aqua MODIS acquired this true-color image on September 22, 2003.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Dust storm in Texas and New Mexico (morning overpass)

Winds that gusted up to 63 miles per hour (101 kilometers per hour) pushed a thick curtain of dust across Western Texas on February 19, 2004. The storm caused up to 30 car accidents on U.S. Highway 84 near Lubbock, the Associated Press reported, and forced the road to close for several hours. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite provides a broad view of the storm at 12:15 pm, U.S. Central Time. An image taken by the MODIS instrument on the Aqua satellite an hour and a half later shows that the dust had spread over a larger area in Northern Mexico, but had thinned out in northwestern Texas.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Phytoplankton bloom off the Pacific Northwest

A muddy green cloud floats in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Washington and Oregon in this Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image, taken on July 23, 2004, by the Terra satellite. The color is caused by an algal bloom near the surface of the ocean. Without corroborating data collected at sea level, its impossible to tell which species of phytoplankton are coloring the water or if the bloom is harmful. This is, however, an area known to be afflicted by harmful algal blooms , and the Washington State Department of Health recently closed many of the beaches shown in this image to shellfish harvesting, a sign that the bloom may be harmful. Inland, a string of snow-capped volcanoes line the coast. On the right side of the image, MODIS has detected a large fire, marked in red. The fire is sending a plume of smoke west over the Cascade Mountains, toward Seattle, the grey area lining the Puget Sound.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Arizona

Very high to extreme fire danger existed in Arizona (left) and New Mexico (right) on June 11, 2003. Several wildfires were burning near the states’ border on June 10, 2003, and were detected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite. The fires have been marked with red outlines. To the west of the fire in Arizona, the burn scar of last year’s Rodeo-Chediski Fire is visible as a rust-colored area amid the deep green of the forested mountains.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Smoke from Alaskan wildfires off eastern United States

This true-color image of the United States’ eastern seaboard was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. The scene offers a space-based perspective on what people on the ground up and down the U.S. coast observed firsthand on July 21, 2004—the air overhead was very hazy that day. The haze is due to smoke being generated by widespread and intense wildfires burning in Alaska. The smoke has spread all across North America and is now being swept eastward over the Atlantic Ocean.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Silt in the Mid-Atlantic states

As the remnants of Hurricane Ivan moved north over the United States, it dumped torrential rain in southeastern and mid-Atlantic states, triggering inland flooding. Major rivers, including the Ohio, Susquehanna, and Deleware Rivers, pushed over their banks and forced evacuations. Muddy run-off has colored the rivers around the Chesapeake Bay a dirty brown in these true-color images, acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer ( MODIS ) on NASAs Terra satellite on September 20 and 21, 2004. By this time, the floods had largely subsided, but evidence of flooding remains in this image. The top third of the Chesapeake Bay, normally clear and dark, is now mud colored as sediment-laden flood water drains into the bay. The Susquehanna River flows down from the top left corner of the image into the bay, and the Delaware is visible under the clouds coming out of the top right corner.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC