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Satellite Imagery

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GOES-East and GOES-West Imagery

Site Thumbnail The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) "latest generation of Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES), known as the GOES-R Series, is the nation's most advanced fleet of geostationary weather satellites. Geostationary satellites circle the Earth in geosynchronous orbit, which means they orbit the Earth's equatorial plane at a speed matching the Earth's rotation. This allows them to stay in a fixed position in the sky, remaining stationary with respect to a point on the ground. GOES satellites continually view the Western Hemisphere from approximately 22,300 miles above Earth. GOES satellites are designated with a letter prior to launch and renamed with a number once they reach geostationary orbit." GOES-R Mission Overview | Wikipedia article about GOES satellites

GOES-East (GOES-16; Wikipedia article) is a geostationary satellite located above 0°N 75.2°W and provides views of most of North and South America, including most of the Atlantic Ocean and parts of the eastern Pacific Ocean. GOES-West (GOES-17; Wikipedia article) is a geostationary satellite located above 0°N 137.2°W and provides views of most of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean, including parts of North America. Both are GOES-R series satellites.

"The Advanced Baseline Imager is the primary instrument on the GOES-R Series for imaging Earth's weather, oceans and environment. ABI views the Earth with 16 different spectral bands (compared to five on the previous generation of GOES), including two visible channels, four near-infrared channels, and ten infrared channels." You can learn more here, where you can download an in-depth PDF fact sheet for each band. Imagery is available for the full disk (usually every 15 minutes), Contiguous U.S. (CONUS, usually every 5 minutes) and two mesoscale regions (usually every minute) that change. You can learn more about that here. You can view the GOES-R series FAQ here.

Site Thumbnail - NOAA NESDIS' Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR)

Storm specific floater imagery available. This is the new site to view data from GOES-East and GOES-West on. You can view storm floaters from the new site here. (floater imagery may not be available for invests) The old site, which was here, now displays a few of the images from this new site.

All 16 spectral bands can be viewed. The viewer allows you to loop imagery. GeoColor is also available. In addition to "Full Disk" and "CONUS" views, you can also choose regional views across the U.S. There are also wider regional views for the "Gulf of Mexico", "Caribbean", "U.S. Atlantic Coast", "Puerto Rico" and "Tropical Atlantic". The "Full Disk" and "Tropical Atlantic" imagery is updated every 10 minutes, while the other imagery is updated every 5 minutes. The two mesoscale sectors are also available. When available, they are updated every minute.
Site Thumbnail - RAMMB/CIRA SLIDER

This viewer comes from the Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Branch (RAMMB) of NOAA/NESDIS and the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA).

All 16 spectral bands can be viewed. The viewer allows you to zoom in and loop imagery. Other products include GeoColor (CIRA), Natural Color (EUMETSAT), Airmass (EUMETSAT), Dust (EUMETSAT) and others for the Full Disk and CONUS. You can overlay multiple layers on top of each other. Mesoscale sectors are also available. You can choose the time step you want, from 5 to 480 minutes for the CONUS and 10 to 960 minutes for the Full Disk. You can choose between 6 to 60 images for a loop. The Himawari-8 satellite, providing views of the Western Pacific, and two other polar-orbiting satellites (Suomi NPP and NOAA-20), providing global views twice daily, are also available. You can learn more about those satellites later on this page.

An older page for GOES-16 here still has a limited amount of visible satellite views. You can view an older page here which contains some various imagery from GOES-West, including visible, infrared, water vapor and more.

Note: When testing this viewer we found that when a loop of one of the two mesoscale sectors lasts beyond when the position of the mesocale sector changed, the "Maps" overlay option reflected the location of the current mesoscale sector position, even in imagery in the loop for the previous mesoscale sector position.
Site Thumbnail - RealEarth™ from the Space Science & Engineering Center (SSEC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

All 16 spectral bands can usually be viewed for the Full Disk, CONUS and two mesoscale sectors. The Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) (about) overlay is also available. You can also add a wide variety of other overlays, which you can learn about later in this section. The viewer allows you to zoom in and loop imagery, giving you more control over the imagery than most any other viewer. The default "Collection" selected is "RealEarth". To view all available overlays, select "All categories". If some of the layers in the "RealEarth" collection disappear, be sure to select "All categories". You can also view a complete listing of all their available products here. To find GOES-East and GOES-West imagery in their display, click the "Products" tab in the left column. Look for the folders that have names that start with "GOES East" and "GOES West". Each folder has overlays for the various spectral bands and additional enhancements. If you don't see all the bands, you will need to make sure the "All categories" collection is selected. As of updating this page, the "Geostationary Lightning Mapper" is at the bottom of the "GOES East Full Disk" folder and the overlay is named "GOES East GLM Full Disk Group Density".

This site has an incredible amount of satellite imagery available on their interactive map. (you can choose Google Maps as a base map or use their simple map) You can add as many layers you want at one time, setting the transparency. You can zoom in for more refined imagery. The imagery can also be looped in their viewer. You can select the time steps in your loop, such as an image every hour or every 6 hours, as well as set how many images you want to view in the loop. You can also control the speed of the loop. While the amount of archived data available varies, you can often go back a week for some of the more popular satellite options. You can also view the data in Google Earth. When you click the "Share" button you can save a link with the options you have selected as well as find a link in the window that pops up about saving a KML file in Google Earth. In the "Global" imagery folder you will find imagery that often updates every hour. In the "Continental US" folder, for imagery just near the U.S., often every 15 minutes. For "Continental US" and "Global Imagery" you can view a variety of layers such as "Visible", "IR Aviation" (AVN), "Infrared" (B&W), Dvorak, Funk Top, Overshooting Tops, IR Rainbow and others. You can also find radar overlays in the "Radar" folder. There are hundreds of other overlays. View more data here at the Science & Engineering Center.

After you view a certain amount of imagery per day in the RealEarth™ display, a watermark will appear on the imagery. You can double the amount of imagery you can view per day if you register on their site for free. Beyond that, you will need to pay if you want to remove the watermark. You can learn more here.

An additional GOES-East viewer exists here on their site. It only has B&W imagery for each of the 16 spectral bands. Imagery is available for the Full Disk, Contiguous US and both mesoscale sectors. (As of updating this page, the mesoscale sectors are marked as experimental.) Other satellites are available in that viewer as well. You can set an image loop to have the maximum number of images available, which can sometimes exceed 200.
Site Thumbnail - College of DuPage

All 16 spectral bands can be viewed for "Global", "Continental", "Regional", "Sub-Regional", "Localized" and "Mesoscale Floater" sectors. You can view an image loop from 6 to 200 frames. In addition to each of the 16 ABI bands there are also "RGB Color Products" that include "True-Color", "Airmass", "Natural Color", "NT Microphysics" and "Day Cloud Phase". Near the top left corner of the imagery you can click the small globe icon to add various mapping and data overlays for most of the sectors. There are various tabs that will appear that contain various overlays. The "Mesoanalysis" tab contains overlays such as "Composite Radar", "CAPE", "CINH" (convective inhibition), "Dewpoint", "Mass Divergence", "Wind Gusts", "500mb RAP Analysis", "Moisture Divergence", "Mean Sea Level Pressure", "Pressure Falls", "Station Plots", "Supercell Composite", "Streamlines", "Temperature", "Theta-E", "Theta", "Vorticity", "Wind Vectors" and "Watches & Warnings". The "GOES Derived" tab contains overlays such as "Cloud Top Height", "Cloud Top Temperature", "Cloud Top Phase", "Aerosol - Dust", "Land Surface Temperature", "Rainfall Rate", "Sea Surface Temperature", "Total Precipitable Water" and "GOES16 GLM Flashes". If you don't see all the overlays on each tab, adjust your browser window so that you are able to see the scroll bar so that you can scroll down. While you can't zoom in on an image, the imagery scales to the size of your browser window. For closeup imagery, view "Localized Sectors" and select the area you want to focus on.
Site Thumbnail - NASA's Short-term Prediction Research and Transition Center (SPoRT)

All 16 spectral bands can be viewed for the Full Disk and CONUS. Additional products include Air Mass RGB (about, PDF file), Dust RGB (about, PDF file) and others. You can't select how many images you would like to view in a loop, so you could find yourself viewing a loop with well over a hundred images and over a hundred megabytes. You can't zoom in on imagery. The link above is for the infrared band 14 for CONUS. Once on the page you can select the other bands and use the "Animate This Product" link at the bottom of the left column to animate the display. The Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) product is also available here for CONUS. Once on the page you can select a different domain, including "Full Disk", "Caribbean", "Southeast US", "Puerto Rico" and "South America".
Site Thumbnail - NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC)

There are six spectral bands available for GOES-East and GOES-West imagery: Red Visible (band 2), Snow/Ice Near-Infrared (band 5), Shortwave Infrared (band 7), Upper-Level Water Vapor (band 8), Clean Longwave Infrared (band 13) and Longwave Infrared (band 14). Each is available for the Full Disk and CONUS. There are therefore twelve different options to choose from for each satellite. For each of those you will be able to center your satellite view, with two to three zoom levels available, depending on the band and/or sector you are viewing, to zoom in closer. You will have additional image enhancements that are standard with all of their imagery; ten for infrared and six for water vapor. CONUS imagery is updated every 5 minutes and the "Full Disk" imagery every 10 minutes. Our site has a viewer that allows you to more easily select data from this site using their "Build a Satellite" feature. You can view it here.

Tropical Atlantic Overlays for Google Earth

If you have the desktop version of Google Earth, you can view a large number of image overlays in the program using our overlay product.

You can download and open the following file in Google Earth:
Google Earth Logo

Current Version: 2.00 (August 4th, 2019) - Removed overlays that were no longer available and added others.

This product contains hundreds of overlays from a wide variety of sources for the Atlantic basin.

SSEC Overlays for Google Earth

This Google Earth file contains overlays from the Space Science & Engineering Center (SSEC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. You can also view these overlays in their incredible interactive web based mapping product here. Image loops are available in their web based mapping product.

After you view a certain amount of imagery per day, a watermark will appear on the imagery. You can double the amount of imagery you can view per day if you register on their site for free. Beyond that, you will need to pay if you want to remove the watermark. You can learn more here.

You can download and open the following file in Google Earth:
Google Earth Logo

Current Version: 2.01 (July 13th, 2019) - Updated imagery for GOES-West.

EUMETSAT Overlays for Google Earth

This Google Earth file contains satellite overlays from the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). It contains imagery from Meteosat-11 and Meteosat-8. You can learn more about those satellites later on this page. You can also view these overlays in their interactive web based mapping product here. Image loops are available in their web based mapping product.

You can download and open the following file in Google Earth:
Google Earth Logo

Current Version: 1.00 (August 7th, 2019) - Initial Release.

Additional Satellite Imagery

  • Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Monterey's Tropical Cyclone Page
    Storm specific floater imagery available. Storm specific floater imagery available. For developed storms and areas of investigation as well, NRL has impressive visible imagery centered right on the storm. The site has IR imagery as well and a lot of other various satellite features that make this one of the best places to research a storm.
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison's Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS)
    Storm specific floater imagery available. This site has a lot of impressive features, including storm centered satellite imagery. It has shear, dust, convergence, divergence, vorticity, wind, ADT estimates, and steering current data you may be familiar with. Click an active storm on the map on the main page and you will access a display with a wide variety of features that allow you to easily overlay storm specific data. If you see a "5-Day Movie: JAVA" option available for some imagery you can click it to usually view a Flash loop.
  • Currently Active Tropical Cyclones from Colorado State University and NOAA
    Storm specific floater imagery available. You can select an active storm on the page to view various storm specific satellite imagery for a storm, including visible, infrared and water vapor imagery. There are also a lot of other storm specific products, including wind analysis, ocean heat content imagery and satellite intensity estimates. The top of a storm page also has a link to model data products for the storm.
  • Tropical RAMSDIS Online from Colorado State University
    This site has some visible and IR floaters like the Currently Active Tropical Cyclones page they have.
  • e-WALL: Pennsylvania State University (PSU) Electronic Map Wall: Tropical Atlantic e-WALL
    In the left column of that page you will find several different satellite views, including floaters. Once you select a satellite view, you will then see a new left column with more satellite options, including choosing 8, 16, or 24 image loops.
  • Satellite Imagery from NOAA's Aviation Weather Center
    You can view visible, water vapor, B&W infrared and two color infrared image types for each region. This site also has international imagery as well. There are a lot of aviation related products elsewhere on the site.
  • Worldview from NASA's Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS)
    "This app from NASA's EOSDIS provides the capability to interactively browse over 800 global, full-resolution satellite imagery layers and then download the underlying data. Many of the available imagery layers are updated within three hours of observation, essentially showing the entire Earth as it looks 'right now'. This supports time-critical application areas such as wildfire management, air quality measurements, and flood monitoring. Arctic and Antarctic views of many products are also available for a 'full globe' perspective."
  • Satellite Imagery and Tropical Floaters from Tropical Tidbits
    Storm specific floater imagery available. Various satellite views are available, including for the Contiguous U.S., Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Northwest Atlantic, Western Atlantic, Central Atlantic, Eastern Atlantic, Eastern Pacific, Central Pacific and Alaska. Both mesoscale sectors for both GOES-East and GOES-West are also available.
  • Atlantic Storm Floaters from CyclonicWx
    Storm specific floater imagery available. This site has storm specific floaters with Visible, Water Vapor, Infrared and Dvorak Enhancement image loops available.

Older satellite imagery pages from NOAA's Satellite Products and Services Division

  • Atlantic and Caribbean Tropical Satellite Imagery
    Pacific Tropical Satellite Imagery
    Not available for current GOES-East (GOES-16) and GOES-West (GOES-17) satellites.
    Imagery from GOES-15, which was previously GOES-West, will likely continue through at least December 31st, 2019 and that imagery seems to appear on the older Pacific site under the GOES-West label.
    Imagery from GOES-East and GOES-West are now available on the GOES Image Viewer page at NOAA's Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR).

    The GOES Geostationary Server web site says: "Please note: This site will continue to display GOES-15 (GOES-West Backup) imagery until the satellite's decommissioning. GOES-15 (GOES-West Backup) operations (originally scheduled to continue only through early July 2019) has been extended at least through December 31, 2019. To view imagery from the operational GOES East (GOES-16) and GOES West (GOES-17) satellites, users may visit https://www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/goes/."

    It appears that this likely extends to the old Satellite Products and Services Division page for the Pacific too. Western Pacific imagery on that page comes from Himawari-8 and it's unclear if that imagery will continue on the site.

    A wide variety of views and satellite enhancements historically made this one of the best places to view satellite imagery, and satellite floaters, for the prior GOES-East (GOES-13) and prior GOES-West (GOES-15) satellites. When GOES-16 became GOES-East, the GOES-East imagery on the Atlantic page stopped being available. GOES-West imagery, presumably from GOES-15, is still available while it remains operating. Satellite floaters on the older floater page are no longer listed as being available for the North Atlantic and East Pacific, saying "Floater imagery is not available from GOES-16 (GOES-East)". However, floater imagery is available through the NESDIS Tropical Cyclone Products page for the East Pacific. It links to the same storm floater pages that were linked from the older floater imagery page. Presumably, that floater imagery is from GOES-15 and will stop being available once that satellite is no longer operating. Until then, that NESDIS site also has additional information on each storm's floater page. That site, along with the older floater page, have satellite floaters for other storms around the world using various satellites. It's unclear if those other floaters will continue.

    Because this site does not currently have imagery from GOES-East, other areas of the site that had GOES-East data are also unavailable. The GOES East Satellite Imagery page now redirects to the site that currently has data. The GOES West Satellite Imagery page is still available, presumably with data from GOES-15. You could previously view satellite imagery zoomed in over any specific Weather Forecast Office here for GOES-East. That link also redirects. You can still view it for GOES-West here for now, also presumably with data from GOES-15.

    The National Hurricane Center used to also link to this imagery here. They still link to the Pacific imagery, but for Atlantic imagery, they link to the new site.

    Satellite floaters for the Atlantic and East Pacific (which includes the Central Pacific), with closeup images of current storms, are available on the new site here. Floater imagery may not be available for invests there.

    The Polar Satellite Imagery page has some of the links to the previous views that are no longer available. In addition, they also have some views that are still available. For the East Atlantic, imagery from a Meteosat satellite is available for the East Atlantic and Northeast Atlantic. Both have imagery every 24 hours even though it says every 6 hours. Additionally, data is probably available from Meteosat-11 even though it says Meteosat-9. For the West Pacific, imagery from Himawari-8 is available for the Tropical West Pacific, West Pacific, West Central Pacific and Northwest Pacific. Imagery is available every 30 minutes.

Saharan Air Layer (SAL) Analysis

Satellite coverage for the West Coast of Africa

Other Information on GOES Satellites

  • GOES Eclipse Schedules
    "During eclipse season with the GOES-R satellite series, stray light contamination is visible approximately 45 minutes before and after satellite local midnight (~0500 UTC for GOES-East and ~0900 UTC for GOES-West) each day for approximately 45 days before and after the vernal and autumnal equinox, in the form of a vertical beam of light that is more intense at the end closer to the Sun. Stray light contamination is often prominent in the images of visible and near infrared bands (bands 1–6), although it can also be discerned in band 7 images. This is a normal occurrence for the ABI."
  • General Satellite Messages
    This site gives "you information about NOAA's satellite operations, including various product changes, upgrades and outages. Visit often for the latest information affecting data delivery."
  • GOES Operational Status
    This site provides up to date status information on each spacecraft and its various subsystems.

Other Satellites

This section contains imagery from other satellites. It mostly covers satellites that have imagery available on the same websites that we have already covered on this page.

  • Meteosat Satellites
    European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT)
    - Current Meteosat Satellites page at EUMETSAT
    - Wikipedia article on Meteosat satellites.

    "In geostationary orbit 36,000 km above the equator, the Meteosat satellites - Meteosat-8, -9, -10 and -11 - operate over Europe, Africa and the Indian Ocean."

    Meteosat-11
    Position: 0°N 0°E
    About: This satellite provides coverage of the eastern North Atlantic, Southern Atlantic, Africa, Europe and parts of eastern South America. "Is the prime operational geostationary satellite, positioned at 0 degrees and providing full disc imagery every 15 minutes. It also provides Search and Rescue monitoring and Data Collection Platform relay service." "Replaced Meteosat-10 at 0° on 20 February 2018."
    Meteosat-10
    Position: 0°N 9.5°E
    About: "Provides the Rapid Scanning Service, delivering more frequent images every five minutes over parts of Europe, Africa and adjacent seas. It also provides Search and Rescue monitoring." "Replaced Meteosat-9 RSS on 20 March 2018."
    Meteosat-9
    Position: 0°N 3.5°E
    About: "Provides a backup service to Meteosat-11 Full Earth scanning and a gap filling service to Meteosat-10 Rapid Scanning." "Rapid Scan Service gap filling and back-up spacecraft since 20 March 2018."
    Meteosat-8
    Position: 0°N 41.5°E
    About: This satellite provides coverage of the Indian Ocean, Africa, western Asia and Europe. "Operates over the Indian Ocean performing Full Earth scanning. It also provides Search and Rescue monitoring and Data Collection Platform relay service (which includes relay of Tsunami warnings)." "Replaced Meteosat-7 on 01 February 2017."
    Meteosat-11 Data:

    - EUMETSAT Image Gallery for Meteosat 0 degree
    - EUMETView - Interactive Viewer

    Meteosat-8 Data:

    - EUMETSAT Image Gallery for Meteosat 41.5 degree degree
    - EUMETView - Interactive Viewer
  • Himawari-8
    Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)
    Himawari-8 is a geostationary satellite located above 0°N 140.7°E and provides views of the western Pacific.

    - Meteorological Satellite Center of Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)
    - Wikipedia article

    Data:

    - Himawari-8 Real-time Web display from Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT)
    - RAMMB/CIRA SLIDER from Colorado State University and NOAA
    - RealEarth™ from Space Science & Engineering Center (SSEC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
    - Pacific Tropical Satellite Imagery from NOAA's Satellite Products and Services Division
    - Himawari-8 Imagery from Colorado State University and NOAA
    - Satellite Imagery from JMA
    - Himawari Real-Time Image (older page) from Meteorological Satellite Center of JMA
    - Tropical Cyclone page at University of Wisconsin-Madison's Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS)
    - SSEC Geostationary Satellite Imagery viewer at the Space Science & Engineering Center (SSEC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
    - Floater imagery is available on the Currently Active Tropical Cyclones page at Colorado State University
  • Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) - Mission Page
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
    "The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) is the Nation's new generation polar-orbiting operational environmental satellite system. JPSS is a collaborative program between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its acquisition agent, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This interagency effort is the latest generation of U.S. polar-orbiting, non-geosynchronous environmental satellites. JPSS was established in the President's Fiscal Year 2011 budget request (February 2010) as the civilian successor to the restructured National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS). As the backbone of the global observing system, JPSS polar satellites circle the Earth from pole-to-pole and cross the equator about 14 times daily in the afternoon orbit, providing full global coverage twice a day."

    "Suomi NPP is the predecessor to the JPSS series spacecraft and is considered the bridge between NOAA's legacy polar satellite fleet, NASA's Earth observing missions and the JPSS constellation."

    "NOAA-20, which launched into space on November 18, 2017, is the first spacecraft of NOAA's next generation of polar-orbiting satellites. Capitalizing on the success of Suomi NPP, NOAA-20 features five similar instruments". NOAA-20 was known as JPSS-1 until it reached its orbit.

    Wikipedia Articles:

    - Joint Polar Satellite System
    - Suomi NPP
    - NOAA-20

    Data:

    - RAMMB/CIRA SLIDER from Colorado State University and NOAA
    - RealEarth™ from Space Science & Engineering Center (SSEC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
    - VIIRS Imagery from Colorado State University & NOAA: Suomi NPP | NOAA-20