Rain Shadow Effect
The visible satellite image is the same as seeing the earth from space. Clouds are very detailed, however they can only be seen during the daytime. The bright white areas represent the highest cloud-tops where the heaviest precipitation is usually found.
The infra-red satellite image uses infra-red light to detect clouds. Although it does not provide as much detail as the visible picture, it is useful because clouds can be seen at any time of the day or night. Again, the brighter white areas represent higher cloud-tops and heavier precipitation.
| Water Vapor
Instead of just taking the temperature of the cloud-tops, the water vapor satellite is capable of detecting how much moisture is in the clouds. It is a little misleading because it shows proportional more water vapor toward the poles. It can be color coded. In the black and white version, the brighter colors indicate more water vapor and precipitation.
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