Thermal infrared image GOES taken from a geostationary orbit about 36,000 km above the equator.
The images are taken on a half-hourly basis.
The temperature is interpreted by grayscale values. Cold objects are white and hot surfaces appear black.
High clouds as thin cirrus or deep convection, for example towering thunderstorm cells, appear bright white.
Mid- or low level clouds, as well as fog and mist are 'grayish'. So are cold land surfaces and most ocean areas.
As the sun is heating the ground, the surface will appear increasingly dark.
The 'beauty' of thermal infrared images is that they provide information on cloud cover and the temperature of
air masses even during night-time, while visible satellite imagery is restricted to daylight hours.
However, the best method to interpret satellite images is to view visible and infrared imagery together.
UTC = Coordinated Universal Time
12 UTC = 13:00 WEST
courtesy of: NOAA