Weather satellites play a key role in meteorology. They show meteorological processes in the atmosphere around the clock. MeteoSwiss obtains the satellite data from EUMETSAT, a consortium of European countries which together operate METEOSAT and other Earth observation satellites.
Day & night combined satellite image of Europe
The combined satellite images use different colours to display the day and the night. The colour combinations used allow the viewer to distinguish the snow on the ground (shown in blue) from the medium-to-low-lying cloud (shown in white) and the high cloud (in light blue). At night, the selected colour scheme distinguishes between cloudless regions (in pink) and regions with cloud cover. Fog and low cloud are shown in white, and high cloud is shown as red or black.
Infrared satellite image of Europe
The infrared satellite images indicate the distribution of cloud over Europe. The European geostationary weather satellites measure the electromagnetic infrared rays emitted from the ground and from the upper portion of the clouds over a 24-hour period. This then allows the position of the cloud to be ascertained, along with important information on the distribution and development of the clouds (including at night).
Global satellite images
These infrared images show the cloud distribution around the world (excluding the polar regions). The mosaic is put together from images from the European, American and Japanese geostationary weather satellites. The colour scale provides a rough indication of the maximum height of the clouds. The lower-lying clouds are displayed in white or grey, while medium-height clouds are in blue, and very high ones in green. The highest clouds occur during heavy thunderstorms or hurricanes and are shown in red.