NASA satellite snaps rare cloud-free and not so rare snow covered emerald Ireland

Ireland's Big Green and Big White

A couple years ago NASA's Aqua satellite took an out-of-this-world shot of  a cloud-free shot of Ireland. NASA noted at the time that the cloud-free view is rare as the country is almost entirely cloud covered 50% of the time according to the Irish Meteorological Service, Met Éireann.   There are more clouds during the day than at night, and fog is common.

NASA said Ireland owes its greenness to moderate temperatures and moist air. The Atlantic Ocean, particularly the warm currents in the North Atlantic Drift, gives the country a more temperate climate than most others at the same latitude.   Moist ocean air also contributes to abundant rainfall. Ireland receives between 750 and 2000 millimeters (29 and 78 inches) of rain per year, with more rain falling in the west and in the mountains. Most of the rain falls in light showers.

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The snow shot comes from the winter of 2009-2010 was unusually cold and snowy, NASA said. Called "The Big Freeze" by the British media at the time, it brought widespread transportation problems, school closings, power failures and twenty five deaths. A low of -22.3°C (-8.1°F) was recorded on January 8, 2010, making it the coldest winter since 1978/79.

The shot and the snowy one for your St. Patrick's Day celebrations:

nasa
nasa

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