These images are generated by geostationary satellites orbiting 22,000 miles above the equator looking at the United States. These include visible, infrared and water vapor images. The images are updated once an hour at about 30 after the hour.
This is an infrared image enhanced to highlight the cloud areas and the coldest cloud tops. Since, IR images could be used to determine cloud height, these images are enhanced to highlight the highest, coldest cloud tops. Areas of strong precipitation will show up as shades of cyan. Thunderstorms will show up in blue and green. In addition, the contrast of warmer clouds is increased so that low clouds will show up. A color bar at the bottom of the image will describe the enhancement scheme. The tick marks at the top of the bar represent 10 degree Celsius increments starting at 50C on the left and going to -110C on the right.