NASA's Earth Observatory has released a satellite photo showing the storms that have pounded Southern California as seen from space.
The "siege of storms" swirling over the state are the strongest since at least 2005, and have brought fierce winds and strong rains that have flooded streets, led to several deaths, and caused power lines to collapse. Up to 20 inches of rain are expected to fall over five days.
The Earth Observatory outlines how the satellite image was obtained and describes key features of the photo:
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite captured this true-color image on January 20, 2010. Over the Pacific Ocean and the California coast, clouds assume the shape of a giant apostrophe, looking vaguely like a hurricane missing most of its center. The storm's shape suggests a low-pressure system drawing in strong winds from nearby areas. Patches of clear sky allow glimpses of California's Central Valley and Baja California.
See the storm as seen from space in the photo below, then check out the Earth Observatory's incredible image of December 2009's east coast blizzard.