Iraq 01/12/08

MODIS image of Iraq

Iraqis in Baghdad woke to the novelty of white flakes drifting to the ground as the city experienced its first snowfall in about 100 years on January 11, 2008, reported the AFP news service. Though the snow melted as it hit the ground in Baghdad, it lingered in the mountains in the north and east, where it is more common. Snow still covered the desert when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) flying on NASA's Terra satellite captured this image on the morning of January 12, 2008.

The left image shows Iraq in visible light as the human eye would see it. The desert landscape is predominately tan and brown with a web of brown-green vegetation lining the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The cement-colored city of Baghdad is near the bottom edge of the image. The red dot marks the location of a fire or perhaps a gas flare. The right image shows the same scene in infrared and visible light. This combination helps distinguish between cloud and snow, since the snow is turquoise, and the clouds are white.

Text and image courtesy of NASA's Earth Observatory.