14 January 2019

Weather Satellites are Far More Vital Than You Think

Posted by Dan Satterfield

I’ve written a lot here about weather satellites here, and how a decent forecast beyond three days would be impossible without them.  They are indispensable to everyone from forecasters to firefighters to pilots.   While you mainly see GOES (geostationary satellites) images on TV, I just finished a weathercast showing the image above from a satellite in Polar Orbit. I used it to show where the snow fell this weekend, but this just scratches the surface of what polar-orbiting weather satellites can do. 

My friend Dave Jones at Storm Center Communications has produced an excellent film about the JPSS (Joint Polar Satellite System)  program and it’s been nominated for awards already. The public often has little to no idea of the science that their tax dollars pay for so take a look at the film and you will be surprised. (You’ll see a clip of me in the film as well, but trust me, I’d share this film even if I were not in it!)

Science teachers, you should grab this and show it to your students.