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Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Branch

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Fog Detection and Analysis with Satellite Data


Dan Bikos

Scott Lindstrom



Archived Training






The objective of this session is to better understand and utilize techniques for the detection and analysis of fog and low clouds using data from GOES and other satellites. The lesson will emphasize nighttime detection by means of a bi-spectral (11-3.9 mm) IR image product, but will also address daytime techniques using visible, near-Infrared, and shortwave IR channels. Experimental products such as fog depth and low cloud base height will be discussed, along with additional satellite products useful in the prediction of fog formation.

Training Session Options

  1. VISITview playback without Audio – You may step through the VISITview file on your own to view the presentation. If talking points are available, you may use these in tandem with going through the slides.

    Create a directory to download the playback file from the following site:

    After extracting the files into that directory click on the visitlocal.bat file to start the lesson. Advance slides on your own using the navigation controls (i.e., the Next button will advance to the next slide)

References/Additional Links

  • Talking points are available for this lesson and may be printed out to easily review the session in detail at any time.
  • GOES Low Cloud Imagery and Products
  • NOAA AVHRR Pseudo-Color Imagery (Johns Hopkins APL)
  • AWIPS Tools
  • Tutorials
  • Brown, R., 1987: Observations of the structure of a deep fog. Meteorological Magazine, Vol. 116, 329-338.
  • Ellrod, G. P., 2000: Estimation of Instrument Cloud Base Conditions at Night Using GOES and Surface Temperature Data. Proceedings, 9th Conf. on Aviation, Range, and Aerospace Meteorology, 11-15 September, Orlando, Florida, Amer. Meteor. Soc., Boston, 602-605.
  • __________, 1995: Advances in the detection and analysis of fog at night using GOES multi-spectral infrared imagery. Wea. Forecasting, 10, 606-619
  • Hawkinson, J., W. Feltz, T. Schmit, A. Schreiner, and S. Ackerman, 2001: A validation study of the GOES sounder cloud top pressure product. 11th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography, Madison, Wisconsin, 15-18 October 2001 (preprints). Boston, MA, American Meteorological Society, 348-350.
  • Lee, T. F., F. J. Turk, and K. Richardson, 1997: Stratus and fog products using GOES-8-9 3.9 mm data. Wea. Forecasting, 12, 664-677.
  • Wu, X., W. P. Menzel, and G. Wade, 1999: Estimation of sea surface temperatures using GOES-8/9 radiance measurements. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 80, 1127-1138.
This course is Basic

There are no prerequisites


Dan Bikos

Scott Lindstrom

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.