NOAA satellite spots three low-pressure 'dragons'

Even Mother Nature appears to get in on the "Game of Thrones" action by spreading three low-pressure systems across the US that look like dragons.

Winter may be coming in Westeros. In the US, it's leaving with three dragon-shaped low-pressure systems. NASA/Rob Gutro
HBO may hold god-like status in the entertainment realm, but can it control the weather?

You'd almost think it could, thanks to a new satellite image released Tuesday from NOAA'S GOES-15 satellite. The shot shows three swirling cloud systems that upon close inspection resemble curled-up dragons lined up straight across the country. The image comes just six days before the network premieres season four of "Game of Thrones."

According to NASA, "NOAA's GOES-East satellite sits in a fixed orbit in space capturing visible and infrared imagery of all weather over the eastern U.S. and Atlantic Ocean."

Of course HBO had nothing to do with the pressure systems, but it's fun to think that it just might have enlisted Mother Nature's help to hype the hugely anticipated premiere on Sunday.

Instead, low-pressure systems are naturally occurring weather phenomena that occur when warm moist air rises from the Earth. They rotate counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere (as you can see in the image above) and clockwise below the equator.

Low-pressure systems are typically associated with bad weather, as when all that moist rising air cools, it turns into rain or snow. Sure enough, these lows will bring some nasty weather to the Seven Kingdo -- uh, I mean the United States, including rain and snow in each of the three locations. Sounds like the perfect weather to make you want to curl up in front of the TV.

About the author

Freelancer Michael Franco writes about the serious and silly sides of science and technology for Crave and other pixel and paper pubs. He's kept his fingers on the keyboard while owning a B&B in Amish country, managing an eco-resort in the Caribbean, sweating in Singapore, and rehydrating (with beer, of course) in Prague. E-mail Michael.


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