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Use Infrared Satellite Imagery to Locate Intense Storms

Updated: Aug 12, 2021

Infrared satellite sensors measure the heat radiating from the Earth’s surface and atmosphere. The colder the cloud the more likely it is to produce rain. Infrared imagery is useful for determining thunderstorm intensity as strong to severe thunderstorms will normally have very cold cloud-tops. A great example can be seen in the infrared image from GOES-16 on April 24, 2020 over the Gulf of Mexico taken from a screenshot on the Nautical Eye mobile app. The black spot in the infrared image (roughly -80 deg C) is showing us where the coldest cloud-top (most intense storm) is in this system. Using this information, we can look at other aspects of the storm to give us more insights about what is happening around us! Notice the greatest lightning activity correlates with the coldest region identified in the infrared image! You can get access to all of these products by downloading the Nautical Eye mobile app today!

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