Tantalising videos of Arctic air spilling

Posted: December 4, 2012 by tchannon in atmosphere, climate, Clouds, general circulation, weather


Above is a STILL in video tool, not live!

The following EUMETSAT videos are hosted by You-Tube, available in HTML-5 but don’t look now unless you have some time. Each video is 10 minutes long.

Ideally you need a video player which allows full control of playback.

EUMETSAT have a full earth disk geostationary satellite Meteosat 9 stationed on the Greenwich meridian (doesn’t bend much under the weight)

They have produced a sequence of videos, one month at a time of the colour visualisation of Europe plus the eastern Atlantic.

Unfortunately this coverage does not extend to the polar or Canadian limit of visibility which is more apt for looking at MPH. Some have comments about particular weather features.

[update] Added Arctic basin topographic map.

Map credit: Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal, (click image for web page)

First September 2012 when I think MPH start, the reader might want to open these to full screen (1280 pixel wide video)

Second August 2012 when weather has lower activity

Other video are available. Try here as a start.

[update] Current full disc image added to demonstrate the public version does not have the resolution needed to create an Arctic edge video.

[another update]

I didn’t know Google Earth has a weather layer which includes clouds. A limited animation facility can be added. Above is an altered screen capture (to include copyright at smaller size) for the day before the Meteosat 9 image just above and roughly the same view.

To enable go the Layers, under Weather you can enable things. In there an underlined link Information takes you to a page which allowed download of the animation, but note, turn off the Weather layer. Instructions are there. Data comes from US Navy facility and is an approximation globally. With animation you can figure out flows.

Much more discussion is needed, which started here.

Post by Tim Channon

  1. tallbloke says:

    Fab. I love cloudwatching. 🙂

  2. Sparks says:

    Are there any real time or near real time live images of clouds in map form? I’ve been looking for a real time image .jpg format with a size of 512×256,1024×1024 or 2048×2048.

    this live image is what I have in mind below, but it’s a (640×320 gif)

    link to fourmilab cgi server [too long url –moderator]

    I’ve wrote a program in opengl for viewing these images live which is easy enough, but, to render the textures to a sphere (to control it with a mouse like google earth, they first have to be converted to one of the formats above, which takes time and some times they lose detail, I could write some code to automate the conversion, thought I’d ask about first. I have the 3d environment and controls working great I just need to find a weather data source then I’ll open a project page on sourceforge for it and develop it further.

  3. tchannon says:

    Wish I did “just know” the answer Sparks. Perhaps creating a resource of what people know about cloud images from space is a side project more suited to my blog where there is little traffic.

    The context I am interested in at the moment will be the most difficult, the polar regions where normal visible light coverage is incomplete. In addition atmospheric layers are important.

    Some cloud doesn’t show in IR channels. Where we do get composites published, it is not very useful, NASA example here http://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/78000/78349/arctic_vir_2012147.jpg
    Anyone for seeing white cloud against white snow?

    It might be that bringing in models/simulation across darkness, maybe ground and ‘sonde data is the only way to do the lot and is far too ambitious.

    Being pragmatic there will be a partial solution for the Arctic regions of interest I am considering but generalised which is what you want is much harder.

    I’m about to update the post with a current fully disc image showing the best resolution directly available on the public site, not useful.

  4. tchannon says:

    Added a significant update to the article, about Google Earth cloud animation.

  5. Brian H says:

    Please expand each acronym on first use.

    [ Which is good practice. I try to but sometimes I assume or write fast, sorry. –Tim]

  6. Sparks says:


    Do you have a link to the cloud layer/layers you used?

    Also, have you tried using NASA Worldwind? it has plugins that support some impressive looking current cloud layers, I haven’t used it in awhile but It has just occurred to me, once the images are updated they remain available in Worldwind’s image folder for ofline use, It may also store the updated cloud layers in a usable format, I’ll have to look but I think it may even give the server address and a link to the updated layers.

  7. tchannon says:

    Global clouds seems to be a simulator, perhaps from information on a cloud location and type.
    I need to read more about world wind, there is mention of known compatibility issues here.

    Anyone else used it?

  8. tchannon says:

    I’ve been capturing the image files for some days now.

    When I processed some of these to a video precursor it became obvious there is a problem which I had suspected from the behaviour of the download routine. Put bluntly the authors are self centred, only provide images when the light is on them ignoring the rest of the world. This makes what the facility claims to be not a lot of use.

  9. tchannon says:

    Yesterday I spent some time trying to find useful Arctic satellite images.

    I found nothing useful almost to the point of looking deliberately so but you sure are pushed at Antarctica, anywhere but where you want. At this this point I start to get very angry. This happens so often.

    Why no information?
    It might be simply there is no good data yet claims to have produced such are there.