The Great Blizzard of 2011 – As Seen From Space

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Satellite image of the snowstorm which blanketed 30 states Feb 1 2011

National Geographic/NASA/NOAA

A NASA satellite really has a way of putting Snowpocalypse 2011 into perspective.

The image, taken Tuesday from orbit, shows the extent to which the blizzard engulfed 30 states in a blanket of snow. People in the Midwest and Northeast know only too well the effects of the recent snowstorms, from damage to Chicago’s Wrigley Field to thousands of flight cancellations, but you can see for yourself the scale of the colossal blizzard.

(For a ground-level view of the white chaos, by the way, Wednesday was filled with amazing photos and stunning YouTube videos)

It’s been a full season of the white stuff this winter with barely a week having gone by without snowfall. According to National Geographic, Philadelphia and New York City have experienced record snowfall at 37 inches (91 centimeters) and 56 inches (142 centimeters) respectfully. The Windy City got 20.2 inches (51.3 centimeters) the third largest recorded snowfall since 1886, according to the National Weather Service and may still not be over the worst of it.

(See more on TIME.com: Snowstorms Hit the East Coast – Again.)

“Winter storms can be considered deceptive killers,” a warning issued by the N.W.S. read. “It cannot be stressed enough that a silent danger may loom.”

There is a silver lining to the wintry storms, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow on Wednesday, predicting an early spring this year. But before you get too excited over that, you might want to check out this creepy video of thunder snow in action.

Spring seems a million years away.  (Via National Geographic.)

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