Weather Satellite Interpretation 101

People often view weather satellite images, but don’t get the full value from them.  Here is a primer based on two recent images.

Saturday, we had crystal clear skies over Wichita (image courtesy NWS). The white is the snow cover from the Thursday-Friday storm. You can tell it is snow cover because you can see lakes and other geographical features. Generally, the whiter colors equal greater snow depths.
Right now, we have fog enshrouding Wichita with some higher clouds above the fog.  The high clouds are discernible because they cast shadows on the lower fog.  The fog (keeping in mind fog is just a cloud on the ground) is distinguishable from the snow cover because it is absolutely featureless.  No lakes, no shades of gray.  

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