In late March, 2014 NASA’s Terra satellite flew over northeastern Europe and captured a portrait of a landscape in transition from winter to spring. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) flying aboard captured this true-color image on March 26.
Black lines have been overlain on the image to delineate political boundaries. Sweden lies in the west, Russia in the east, and Finland separates the two. In the southwest corner, under a lay of cloud, is Latvia, with a bit of Belarus outlined to its east, and Estonia to the north.
A dusting of winter snow remains across the northern regions, while more the landscape in the south is nearly snow-free. The transition to spring can also be seen in the waters across Northern Europe. In the Gulf of Bothnia, between Sweden and Finland, bright white fast ice clings to the shore, while it begins to melt further out in the Gulf. In the far north, sea ice in the White Sea is also beginning to break up. Further south, where temperatures are cold and the waters shallower, the lakes remain frozen. In particularly, the circular Lake Beloye and, to its south, the Rybinsk Reservoir remain ice-covered.