Mystery on satellite image - Eastern Arkansas

Any idea what this feature is in eastern Arkansas? This has been puzzling me all day. It looks vaguely like fog but animation shows no erosion at all. It's a static feature! Also it does not seem to exist in the river valleys; it's mostly out on the plateaus. It looks almost like cropland that's turned into salt flats or something.

There is a satellite loop here (until after dark):
http://weather.cod.edu/analysis/loops/satl...ter.pl?Arkansas

If we can't figure it out I'll tell you for sure soon... I'm in Dayton OH and will be flying over that area tomorrow afternoon back to DFW.

Tim

[attachmentid=113]
 
Definitely isn't fog ... No stations are reporting fog, and SFC Td depressions (and mid level Td depressions) are quite high. It looks almost like snow (obviously it isn't, heh).
 
Maybe it's albedo from the tattered rags of millions of zombies, risen from the mud of the Mississippi Delta. Are we getting any news out of Memphis?

Tim
 
Odd indeed... It shows up nicely on IR imagery and IR reflectance imagery as well. Sfc obs indicate that is certainly isn't fog. Ya got me...
 
That is really interesting! No reports of fog, no reports for cloudcover even that I saw on the surface obs. But, yet it is continuously there throughout the day... Nice catch there and hope that we can figure out an answer.
 
Someone forgot to add "sat space bug-X" to the camera lens this spring :p
 
Odd indeed... It shows up nicely on IR imagery and IR reflectance imagery as well. Sfc obs indicate that is certainly isn't fog. Ya got me...
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Whatever it is it matches up perfectly in the flat terrain. Not sure what crops they have there but I noticed some crops I'd never seen before in sw MO March 12. They had white stuff on them(cotton I'm guessing). Is it possible it's cotton?
 
Cotton
AR_cotton-550c.jpg


Another Image
 
If you run a Google Earth image of the Mississippi valley in Arkansas, there looks to be a lot of near white farm grids (hit 'refresh' once if the image doesn't load completely the first time). Can't imagine rice or cotton reflecting that much white, though - guess if it's in full bloom and that is all they grow in the river bottoms it might show up on satellite, but that is just really bizarre ... and very interesting. It must be cotton, but the strange thing is how nebulous it appears on vis sat, which really makes it look like fog hanging over the rivers. Going to bug me now till someone comes to a conclusion -
 
I couldn't imagine cotton being that white all of the sudden and is it cotton season anyway right now? If that is cotton then that would be the first time that I've heard of such a thing and apparently quite a few others haven't heard of that before either...
 
Arkansas
Latest 4/10/06 USDA information shows the following for Arkansas:
0 percent cotton planted
15 percent rice planted
16 percent sorghum planted

2005 data shows:
240,000 acres planted for corn
910,000 acres planted for cotton
1,561,000 acres planted for rice
66,000 acres planted for sorghum
3,030,000 acres planted for soybeana
220,000 acres planted for wheat

Mike
 
I couldn't imagine cotton being that white all of the sudden and is it cotton season anyway right now? If that is cotton then that would be the first time that I've heard of such a thing and apparently quite a few others haven't heard of that before either...
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All I know is I saw alot of it in sw MO, se KS over a month ago. It was making the whole field quite white. Temps have been well above normal all winter so I figure it's possible it is starting early(given this is even early, I don't know).

Arkansas
Latest 4/10/06 USDA information shows the following for Arkansas:
0 percent cotton planted[/b]

Well that would be odd for places in KS/MO to have planted and started to grow cotton and no one in AR.

I ain't saying it IS cotton, just wondered if it was a possibility. Surely we have a member from the area, lol.
 
I actaully saw this a few years ago and called the Memphis NWS office up on a slow day. They told me it was an annual Spring time event when some sort of tree (the name escapes me now) blossoms.

Aaron
 
Was that area flooded in the great MS River floods.....when the heck was that...late 80's? Early 90's? I'm thinking that maybe there is some kind of vegetation that now grows there since the floods deposited their....deposits.

??

You know, sorta how like the vegetation will change in an area after a fire, too.

Beats me.

Rita also sorta hit that area, too, but I doubt it has anything to do with that.

Bob

*edit* Oops, too bad Aaron didn't get his answer posted before I started on mine. I think he's got it nailed.
 
I would say it's more likely a difference in soil types? Sandy/silty soil deposits in the flood plain would be more visible this time of year since crops haven't grown up yet. I've looked at a lot of satellite images where the different deposits were very visible. They would also absorb a lot of heat since they are exposed to direct sunlight (hence the difference in infrared images). They might not have the crops planted, but they probably have the fields turned over and ready for planting.

Oops, looks like Aaron had the answer.
 
Wow those must be some intense blossoms that they have down there. If somebody figures out what type of tree it is be sure to post it and let us know, I would be interested to see if this happens anywhere else with that type of tree or another one of similar nature.
 
I grew up in that area ... chased a few great storms there (wish I had been back home on April 2 for the NE Ark-Mo Bootheel-NW Tenn supercell ... I coulda been the only chaser on it knowing the roads by heart ... I'll be 4 weeks too late visiting my parents in Jonesboro ... drat) ... whatever it is, it's related to the lowlands there, because I can make out the outline of Crowley's Ridge, a narrow line of hills, through the middle of it ... it's not cotton because that crop has been steadily reducing in acreage through the years and is mostly confined to areas very close to the Miss. River now ... I doubt it's something to do with a certain kind of tree because most of that land is cleared, so woods acreage is small ... I would guess it had something to do with rice fields and the early season irrigation of them ... but I really don't have a definitive answer
 
Surely we have someone on ST that lives in that area that can just go down there and check it out for us.
 
I agree with Kevin that it might be the flooded rice fields since it should be around seeding time.

I'll take a trip over there tomorrow and check it out. I need to get out shoot some video and photos for a project I'm working on anyway. I'll report back what I find.

If you guys don't hear from me again then I was probably abducted by aliens. This "fog" could be emissions from alien spacecrafts heading to Eureka Springs this weekend for the 18th Annual Ozark UFO Conference...
 
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