Surface data is reported hourly from places like airports and automated observing platforms. The types of plots using surface data include a composite surface map, weather depiction for aviation, regional plots for the US, Canada, Mexico and Alaska. Contoured analyses of various parameters including temperature and pressure. Finally, there are meteograms which are time cross-sections for individual cities. These data are updated hourly at around 30 minutes past the hour.
This is an infrared image enhanced to highlight the cloud areas and the coldest cloud tops. Since, IR images could be used to determine cloud height, these images are enhanced to highlight the highest, coldest cloud tops. Areas of strong precipitation will show up as shades of cyan. Thunderstorms will show up in blue and green. In addition, the contrast of warmer clouds is increased so that low clouds will show up. A color bar at the bottom of the image will describe the enhancement scheme. The tick marks at the top of the bar represent 10 degree Celsius increments starting at 50C on the left and going to -110C on the right.