Easy Access to Satellite Weather Data
Whatever the weather in Europe, come rain, storms, snow, sleet or sun, the meteorological satellite, Meteosat-9, will be observing it. Meteosat-9 is in orbit 36,000 km above the equator from where it gets a space-eye view of weather systems as they develop.
The images it transmits down to ground stations every 15 minutes – in the visible light and infrared wavelengths – are used by meteorologists to help produce weather forecasts. While Meteosat-9 stays in one place in relation to the Earth – i.e. it is geostationary – it is complemented by another meteorological satellite, Metop-A, which circles closer to the Earth in a polar orbit at 817 km and collects images and more detailed vertical profiles of atmospheric conditions.
Both satellites provide images and atmospheric data that are used by meteorologists to make weather forecasts, and over the longer term they help to monitor changes in the Earth’s climate. The good news for researchers, climate modelers, amateur meteorologists, and anyone else wanting to see what Meteosat-9 and Metop-A are observing, is that the data they produce are freely available for non-commercial or research purposes. One option is to access the data via the Internet or, for a relatively small cost, you can even set up your own satellite dish and beam the data collected from Meteosat-9 and other satellites onto the PC in your office or home in near-real time. […]
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