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Derived Satellite Images

Despite the numerous upper air soundings around the world there are vast areas over the oceans where there is no information. The GOES-West satellite helps fill in that missing information.

Besides the typical visual, infrared and water vapor images, GOES-West satellite (and POES satellites as well) have the ability to provide additional information about the state of the atmosphere. Following are just some of the information that can be derived from GOES satellite.

Atmospheric Soundings

Sensors on the satellite provide temperatures of the atmosphere and when combined with the amount of moisture means convection information can be derived. One such derived product is atmospheric soundings. This is similar information to radiosonde observations.

An example of a derived atmospheric sounding from a GOES satellite.

These diagrams include both the GOES and the first guess (model data). Also included are several derived parameters to the right of each diagram. The GOES thermal gradient winds (derived from the Soundings) are also displayed on the diagrams. Learn more about some of these parameters.

A Sounding may not always be available for a given site, if cloud cover exists. Site selection for the profiles has been split up into two regions: Atlantic and Eastern U.S. and Pacific and Western U.S.

Convective Parameters

GOES-West satellite provides derived parameters for Lifted Index, CAPE, Convective Inhibition and Total Precipitable Water. These indices are important for the determination of severe weather.

Learn more about these indices or go to the NESDIS Sounding Fields page.

Current CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy) which represents the potential energy in a parcel of air.

Many more convective parameters can be found at the NESDIS Derive Products Imagery page.

Wind Images

The afore mentioned derived products need cloud free regions to arrive at the values. However, GOES satellite can also use the motion of clouds to determine wind speed and direction.

Called "High Density Winds" each of the satellite's sensors (visible, infrared and water vapor), along with other information, track clouds and features the atmosphere at different levels.

From there it can determine wind speed and direction which is very helpful over the oceans.

Current derived wind image from the water vapor. The winds are divided into three levels indicated by color;  Yellow - 950 to 701 mb ,  Cyan - 700 to 401 mb ,  Red - 400 to 100 mb . The winds derived from other GOES sensors will have different divisions/levels of wind.

View more GOES wind derived images.