RGB Animations

GOES RGB over Hurricane Katrina, 29 Aug 2005 1645 UTC

This simple but useful GOES visible and infrared RGB product shows Hurricane Katrina making landfall over Mississippi. The visible channel depicts cloud cover while the infrared channel is used to indicate cloud height.

The yellow from the visible channel shows features where the overlying cirrus is absent or thin. For example, we can see lower-level features, such as clouds within the storm's eyewall region. The blue shows cirrus clouds at the periphery.


Now look at this two-day loop of the hurricane. It uses the same RGB formula that we demonstrated earlier but substitutes the shortwave infrared channel for the visible channel during nighttime.

Notice how much information is available about clouds in the low-level environment during the daytime when the visible channel is available compared to nighttime when the infrared channels are used.

Since the infrared channel is present both day and night, we never lose sight of the storm's fundamental development.

This satellite product which covers the tropics is distributed by NESDIS in near real-time. The next generation GOES-R ABI (Advanced Baseline Imager) will have an expanded suite of 16 spectral channels. This will enable much improved RGB products for depictions of cloud cover that can include additional quantitative information about composition and evolution at higher spatial and temporal resolution.