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6 images of blizzards taken from space

2003 South Island, New Zealand blizzard

Photo: courtesy of Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC

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July 2003: South Island, New Zealand

The United States wasn’t the only country to experience a snowy winter in 2003. Called “the worst blizzard to hit the country in 50 years,” a storm blanketed the South Island of New Zealand. On July 11, 2003, NASA took this photo using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on the Terra satellite. NASA points out that the white snow contrasts with the deep green of the area vegetation, as well as the bright blue of the glacier-fed lakes. The blizzard struck with “amazing speed” according to one eyewitness, trapping 350 skiers and 70 staff members on the Mount Ruapehu ski area in central North Island.