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Stunning image of the blizzard seen from space

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite snapped this image of the approaching blizzard around 2:35 a.m. EST on Jan. 22, 2016.

NOAA/NASA

Last Updated Jan 22, 2016 6:27 PM EST

A breathtaking photo taken from space shows just how big the blizzard swirling across the eastern U.S. really is.

The image, snapped overnight by NASA and NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite, shows the storm system stretching from Texas to the western edge of Virginia, while the bright lights of Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York glimmer in the distance, soon to be overtaken by snow.

Under this cloud cover, snow was already falling on parts of the south. Arkansas and Tennessee got eight inches by midday. Some areas, including Washington, could see two feet of snow or more pile up before it's over, while the New York area is expecting about a foot on Saturday.

NASA followed that up by posting a video on Twitter showing cloud movements in the days surrounding the storm, based on data analysis from the Goddard Earth Observing System Model, Version 5 (GEOS-5).

NASA also posted a 3D satellite animation showing the storm system over the Gulf Coast, where it dumped heavy amounts of rain.