Introduction to satellites

Weather satellites obtain information about atmospheric phenomena via remote sensing. This is where we can learn much about a subject or object without actually being in contact with that subject or object.

In the National Weather Service remote sensing equipment is used in the detection and measurement of weather phenomena with devices sensitive to electromagnetic energy such as...

  • Heat (infrared scanners on satellites)
  • Radio Waves (Doppler radar)

Remote sensing via satellites provides a unique perspective from which to observe large regions. These sensors can measure energy at wavelengths which are beyond the range of human vision.

In this section we will discover the various satellite views the National Weather Service uses to help derive forecasts, weather watches, and warnings.

Current GOES-East image. This is a daytime (almost) true color/nighttime infrared image.