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By European Space Firm
January 13, 2021

Madrid Snowbound Satellite Image

Credit: Contains customized Copernicus Guard information (2021), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Caught by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 objective on January 11, 2021, at 12: 14 CET, this picture of Madrid in Spain appears to have been taken in black and white. In truth, it is a true-color image– but the heaviest snowfall in 50 years has actually blanketed the area, turning the landscape white.

Storm Filomena hit Spain over the weekend, blanketing parts of the country in thick snow and leaving half of the country on red alert. Madrid, one of the worst affected areas, was brought to a dead stop with the airport needing to be closed, trains canceled and roads obstructed.

Although this satellite image was taken after the storm had passed, it is clear to see that much snow still stays, specifically in the outskirts of the city. For example, some runways at the airport, which shows up in the top-right of the image, are still covered by snow. The unusually cold weather on the Iberian Peninsula is anticipated to last until later on today with temperatures forecasted to plunge to–12 ° C. The race is on to clear roads so that materials of vital items such as food products and Covid vaccines can be delivered.

Copernicus Sentinel-2 is a two-satellite mission. Each satellite brings a high-resolution camera that images Earth’s surface area in 13 spectral bands. Together they cover all Earth’s land surface areas, large islands, inland and seaside waters every 5 days at the equator.

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