Overcast Skies on Earth and Beyond

This month brought unusual weather to many spots around the world.
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Texas Sunset after Snowstorm

A sunset after the snowstorm that swept Texas this February.

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Abigail Malate, Staff Illustrator

(Inside Science) -- Many areas of the world witnessed extreme weather throughout February. The Southern United States experienced unusual cold and snow that threatened power and heat across the region. Snow dusted many parts of the Middle East that rarely see weather cold enough for such precipitation. Even on Mars, NASA’s Perseverance Rover captured a hazy sky.

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Snow in Jerusalem

Jerusalem was dusted with snow this month, a rare sight for the city. On Feb. 17, a snowstorm rolled across Israel, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, disrupting traffic, transportation, and deliveries of vaccines. Above, the golden crown of the Dome of the Rock glitters under the snow, with the Al Aqsa Mosque’s dome visible to the left.

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Mauna Loa in Winter

Even a tropical paradise got snowfall this winter -- though, it’s not as rare as one might expect. Typically, the mountains on Hawaii’s Big Island receive a couple inches of snow each year. Usually, the snow melts within a few days. This month, the peak of Mauna Loa (pictured above) became blanketed in snow after three snowstorms over a span of weeks.

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A Texas sunset after a snowstorm

Texas also received an exceptional amount of snowfall and unusual cold, disrupting power, water, and heat for many residents. Hundreds of thousands of people experienced power outages and had to deal with rolling blackouts in temperatures well below freezing. Jonathan Cutrer captured this moment of calm after the storm, as the sun was setting over the Texan landscape.

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A monsoon off the coast of Darwin Harbour

Down under, the city of Darwin is in the middle of its “wet” season. From November through April, monsoons, cyclones, and heavy rains sweep this region of Australia. Geoff Whalan captured this image of a storm forming across from Darwin Harbour. While not unusual for this season, the picture captures the potential beauty of powerful weather.

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The Martian surface, imaged by NASA's Perseverance Mar rover

On Feb. 19, NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover sent back its first high-resolution color image of the Martian surface. The rover successfully landed on the planet on Feb. 18, with its primary mission to search for signs of ancient microbial life. Here, a sprawling rocky landscape opens into a hazy sky.

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Author Bio & Story Archive

Abigail Malate is a graphic designer at the American Institute of Physics, which produces the editorially independent news service Inside Science.