Visible satellite images are literally "photographs" of the earth. They show clouds in the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Because they see what you or I would, these images will be dark during the night. These types of satellite maps show low clouds, fog and snow cover better than Infrared images and can be very detailed. If you look at the clouds on your state-level Visible satellite image, you will likely be able to see the same thing that you see when you look up into the sky. Looking at the longer animations of visible satellite maps from AccuWeather.com Premium, you will be able to see about 24 hours of photos over the United States. You will be able to see the sun rise across the land and then the sun will set and the image will become dark. It works just like a camera.
Historically the Visible Satellite map has been the preferred method to see a real "camera" picture of the Earth with great detail. The only problem is at night, this image turns dark, just like if you tried to take a picture (with a camera) of the dark side of the Earth. AccuWeather's exclusive Visible-Infrared Combo satellite map combines the Visible Satellite with the Infrared Satellite to make one image which shows the most detail possible, 24 hours a day. Often quick-moving upper-level clouds can be seen skirting over lower-level clouds, especially in an animation. During the nighttime the image is an Infrared image but when the sun rises, the Infrared map is mixed with the Visible satellite image. Blue areas are from the Infrared; Yellow areas are from the Visible; White areas are a mix of the two. Without changing to a separate image or comparing images, you are able to see the temperature data from the IR mixed with the "camera" detail of the Visible shot. You can see the maximum amount of Visible data present without the rest of the image turning black at night.
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