Above is a color, visible satellite image taken from the NASA Aqua Satellite yesterday. This satellite is in low-orbit (438 miles above the earth's surface, traveling at 15,000 mph), meaning it can get incredible resolution (down to 250 meters), but it only passes over a given area twice a day. This is what it would like if you were up at 438 miles altitude and took a digital picture.
Note Tropical Depression Beryl centered near the GA/FL border. Also notice the field of cumulus clouds over land, that do not occur over water (the air is more stable over the water).
This week and next week, I will have a series of blog posts on tropical cyclones, including hurricanes, tropical storms, and tropical depressions. These will discuss how they form, how much energy they have, how we try to forecast where they will go, and some historical info on large hurricanes to hit the US over the past 100 years or so.
Dr. Tim Coleman
UAH Research Meteorologist
Fox 6 Severe Weather Expert and Blogger
Follow me on twitter @timbhm