Fall Color From Space

Fall Color From Space
Annual Color Change Visible From NASA Satellite.

The following is a climate education fun fact provided by Pamela McCown at the AB Tech Institute for  Climate Education.

My, how things change!

One of the most amazing things about living in Western North Carolina is the ability to watch the Earth system move through its annual climate cycles. That is especially true for those of us who have moved here from other regions - regions that perhaps do not progress through these cycles in such grand fashion. 

The images below highlight how fast the changes occur in our mountains. Frozen Knob is a mountain in Madison County that shows great color each fall.  Color had just started to appear on the mountain on October 11th, but by this week, the greens are giving way to the yellows, oranges and rusts of fall.

The ever-watchful eyes of NASA’s Earth Observing System can make it possible for us to appreciate these annual cycles from the vantage point of 440 miles above the Earth, thanks to the MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) instrument aboard the Terra satellite. The image below was taken just before 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday of this week, as the Terra satellite passed overhead.

You can see the amber color of fall across the mountain slopes and if you look carefully - you can even see the dark colors of the spruce-fir forests that dominate the highest elevations of the Great Smoky Mountains, the Black Mountains and the Pisgah Ridge.

Image Credit: NASA and the Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

These next couple of days may be the last chance to catch this year's fall colors at the mid-elevations. A big change in the weather is coming this weekend as significantly cooler air will move in with a cold front. So, make the time to get out and enjoy the sights!

The Institute is hosting a free public seminar on Thursday, November 8th at 6:00 p.m. at Ferguson Auditorium on the A-B Tech Asheville campus. Meteorologist Tom Ross will present the long range winter weather outlook for this winter.  Join us and learn the latest about El Nino and whether or not it will have an impact on our winter.  Click here for more information including an informational flyer and a map.

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