Use this activity to identify different cloud types using visible and infrared images. Notice how you need to look at both images to identify cloud types.
Satellite images are used to identify the strong updrafts in thunderstorm, which can help identify regions of heavy rain, hail, and even tornados. These over shooting tops appear like the top of cauliflower and can cast shadows on the smoother anvil.
This exercise demonstrates relationship between visible and infrared images of the Oklahoma tornadoes on May 3, 1999. Notice the lower resolution IR imager, it appears more 'blocky' than the visible.
Weather television shows often display infrared imagery so they can show it at night. Use this java image to investigate how surface temperature and altitude of a thick cloud appears on a satellite infrared image: Practice interpreting satellite IR imagery.
Visible imagery is good for locating fog, particularly valley fog.
Sometimes cirrus shadows can be seen on visible satellite images. Knowing where the cloud edges, the cloud shadows, and sun are we can compute how high the cloud is.
Return to satellites lesson.
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