Using Channel 4 (10.7 Ám) Imagery To Determine the Earth's Skin Temperature
This standard IR (10.7 Ám) image is presented with an enhancement that highlights the ground temperatures. The 10.7 Ám "window channel" is called a window because the earth's surface can viewed when there are not any intervening clouds. For this reason, an estimate of the surface skin temperatures can be made. Skin refers to the temperature of the surface of the earth, in contrast to the meteorological definition of surface temperature measured by air thermometers.
Note that the warmest temperatures are within the red and yellow areas in the southwestern states. The green and blue hues identify cooler areas. The gray regions are generally clouds. Other GOES channels should be used to confirm cloudy and non-cloudy areas for the purpose of assessing skin temperatures.