The Suomi NPP satellite's VIIRS instrument captured this week's nor'easter moving away from the U.S. East Coast on March 22, 2018. The center of the storm's sprawling circulation can be seen offshore of New England, while fresh snow cover is visible in white areas from central Virginia into Pennsylvania and New Jersey. This week's storm was the fourth powerful nor'easter to hit the East Coast in less than three weeks. Some parts of the Mid-Atlantic, including Washington, DC, saw their biggest snowfall so far this winter, even as the storm arrived a day after the spring equinox. The National Weather Service reported 4.1 inches of snow fell in Washington, DC on March 21, making it the city's greatest snowfall so late in March in more than 50 years.
Although true-color images like this may appear to be photographs of Earth, they aren't. They are created by combining data from the three color channels on the VIIRS instrument sensitive to the red, green and blue (or RGB) wavelengths of light into one composite image. In addition, data from several other channels are often also included to cancel out or correct atmospheric interference that may blur parts of the image.