Clouds History Photography Satellite

Cloud Tracker: Satellite Imagery and the Pioneering Work of Tetsuya Fujita

  • By W. Paul Menzel
  • May 17, 2021

Today we rely so heavily on satellite imagery for understanding, predicting, and maintaining life-safety in weather, that it's hard to imagine a world without it. But until the 1960s, there was no satellite imagery, let alone the richly colored images of atmospheric movement that we see everyday.

In addition to his well known and groundbreaking work on tornadoes and aviation safety, Tetsuya Theodore (Ted) Fujita was a pioneer in using satellite imagery to understand and analyze atmospheric motion. He created methods for analyzing satellite images that allowed observers to accurately diagnose wind movement using pictures from the early Television Infrared Observation Satellite (TIROS) launches. He also developed laboratory techniques that facilitated cloud motion analysis.

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