NOAA -- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS)

ABI

Clouds or Snow? Here Are a Few Ways to Tell the Difference

At first glance, satellite imagery of the Earth can make it look like a giant blue and green marble with swirls of white. For many of us, that makes it hard to imagine how researchers and forecasters are able to determine whether those swirls of white are clouds or snow. However, being able to pinpoint snow cover is important because it can be used for search and rescue missions, water supply resource monitoring and management, as well as short-term forecasting.