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Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Branch

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Regional Satellite Cloud Composites from GOES





Forecaster Course





Learning Objectives:

  1. To learn what a regional satellite cloud composite is.
  2. To find out what types of cloud composites can be created.
  3. To find out how cloud composites fit into the forecast process.


This module reflects how one can create and use cloud composites on a regional scale to assist with everyday forecasting tasks. Cloud composites refer to a shorter time span than cloud climatology. This module highlights simple techniques used to create the cloud composites and regional applications used to visualize weather patterns – all from the diurnal geostationary satellite.

Training Session Options

LMS students – to begin the training, use the Web-based Video or Audio Playback options below.
Note: Be sure to have your speakers on and the volume loud enough to hear the presentation.

  1. Web-based Video training session
  2. Audio playback – This VISITview file contains recorded audio and annotations and can be taken at anytime.

    Create a directory to download the audio playback file (it is about 59 MB in size) from the following site:

    After extracting the files into that directory click on the visitplay.bat file to start the lesson.

References / additional links

  • Talking points (PDF document)
  • RAMMB Satellite Climatology Applications:
  • Combs, C. L., R. Mazur, J. V. Clark, M. K. Nordquist, and D. A. Molenar, 2010: An effort to improve marine stratus forecasts using satellite cloud climatologies for the Eureka, CA region. 17th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography, 27-30 September, Annapolis, MD, Amer. Meteor. Soc., P9.16.
  • Combs, C.L., M. Weiland, M. DeMaria, and T.H. Vonder Haar, 2003: Examining high wind events using satellite cloud cover composites over the Cheyenne, WY region. 12th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography, 10-14 February, Long Beach, CA, Amer. Meteor. Soc., CD-ROM, P2.25.
  • Connell, B. H., K. J. Gould, and J. F. W. Purdom, 2001: High resolution GOES-8 visible and infrared cloud frequency composites over Northern Florida during the Summers 1996-1999. Wea. Forecasting, 16, 713-724. (Bernie can send an electronic version; send a request to her at the email listed below)
This course is Basic

There are no prerequisites

Page Contact

Bernie Connell


Unless otherwise noted, all content on the CIRA RAMMB: VISIT, SHyMet and VLab webpages are released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.