This imagery combines the latest half-hourly GOES infrared and visible images with NASA's "Blue Marble" data set to create real-time animations of the weather systems over the continental United States during the past 72 hours.
Infrared images can be "colorized" or "color-enhanced" to bring out details in cloud patterns. Depending on the type of enhancement, the colors are used to signify certain aspects of the data.
Although true color images like this may appear to be photographs of Earth, they aren't. They are created by combining the color channels of the Suomi NPP satellite’s Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument. These channels, which are sensitive to the red, green and blue (or RGB) wavelengths of light, are combined into one composite image. Several other channels are often also included to cancel out atmospheric interference that can cause a blurry picture. RGB composites are used for many applications, such as differentiating snow/ice from cloud, ash/smoke from cloud, or even the boundaries between warm and cold air masses.
Browse our Satellite Imagery Collections gallery to view captivating images and videos of past hurricanes, wildfires, major storms and beautiful places, as captured by NOAA's fleet of satellites.
Over 150 data variables from satellites, weather models, climate models, and analyses are available to map, interact with, and download using NOAA View's Global Data Explorer.
Want to map or access the track info for any hurricane, typhoon, or cyclone since 1842? Try the Historical Hurricane Tracks mapping application.