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NOAA Weather Satellites
How to receive weather images from the NOAA Satellites.

If you have a SDR and PC software already installed, then receiving and decodeing NOAA images is a simple as installing one more application on your PC.

The NOAA Satellite and Information Service provides timely access to global environmental data from satellites and other sources to monitor and understand our dynamic Earth. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is an American scientific agency within the United States Department of Commerce that focuses on the conditions of the oceans, major waterways, and the atmosphere.

After reading a few Facebook posts on the topic of receiving and downoading images from weather satelllites, I decided to give it a go. I had everything I needed with the exception of some decoding software, so after a quick scan of the Facebook posts, I concluded that most people used a program called WXtoIMG.

To my surprise, Google told me that WXtoIMG has been abandoned by the author, but the application lives on due to it’s popularity. You’ll find the latest version to download, which is a beta version, at WXtoIMGRestored. Here you’ll find Windows, Mac and Linux installers.

Image from NOAA 18 on Sept 11, 2019
Image from NOAA 18 on Sept 11, 2019

The NOAA satellites also show rain if you have that option enabled in software. It’s worth noting that the satellite download file can be used time and time again for different overlays. Once you’re have what you need you can simply save out a JPG.

WXtoIMG decode with precipitation overlay.
WXtoIMG decode with precipitation overlay.
Multiple bushfires break out in Eastern Australia
Source: NOAA - Multiple bushfires break out in Eastern Australia

The image above was captured by the NOAA-20 satellite on Sept. 9, 2019 shows smoke plumes in the Yuraygir National Park and Shark Creek as well as over the cities of Lismore and Grafton. Thus far, more than 400 people have been evacuated from their homes. Although the fires are now mostly under control, some homes and buildings have been damaged.

This true-color image was captured by the VIIRS sensor onboard NOAA-20, which provides daily, high-resolution visible and infrared images of Earth’s atmosphere from across the globe.  Read More.

~ Equipment ~

Most of the weather images on this page were captured using an SDRPlay RSP1A receiver. This device is connected to the shack PC via a USB cable. The antenna was a very old Diamond X5000 which is a 144/430/1200Mhz 1.8m antenna which is over 15 years old and relegated to a spare. In fact I use share it with my DMR radio via a coac switch. That’s it. Nothing special.

The WXtoIMG software will tell you when the next satellite pass is due and what frequency to listen on IF you’re shack PC is conected to the internet. I also use the satellite tracking program packaged with Ham Radio Delux for a more visual representation. The receiving software on my PC is SDRuno.

NOAA 19 track over Australia
NOAA 19 track over Australia
An almost perfect NOAA pass
An almost perfect NOAA pass Sept 17 2019

The link below will take you to a WXtoIMG generated page on the VK3FS site. Here you can see the latest images that have been receive. The WXtoIMG software allows for an automated upload to a website and this is its upload.