First Alert Weather In-Depth: An indispensable view from above

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Why do we need to see the satellite images and why do we need to see the clouds?

The very simple answer is the tropical weather and specifically hurricanes. These satellites are indispensable when it comes to locating these large storms. When searching the oceans we know there is nobody out there to tell us that a major hurricane is coming.

So the satellite is the “eyes” of the meteorologist. Right now, we have Tropical Storm Karl located in the bay of Campeche with winds of 60 mph. It does not appear to be a threat to the United States as the forecast shows it will be moving into Mexico in the coming days.

These particular cloud images are coming from a geostationary satellite. This satellite, located more than 22,000 miles in space, spins at a rate that keeps it in the same position of the United States.

This really gives us a terrific view of the weather day by day and hour by hour. The News 10NBC First Alert meteorologists share these same images with you each day.

There are also polar-orbiting satellites that go from the North Pole to the South Pole. However, these satellites are much lower in altitude and they give much more detailed information about the Earth such as chemicals in the atmosphere or the movement of the ice sheets.

So, when it comes down to weather tools, as a meteorologist, this really cool and necessary technology.