The Silverdale time lapse guru, Dr. Dale Ireland, says the newer weather satellites are equipped with transmitters that allow people at home with special equipment and software to just download the images right out of the sky.
"I receive the radio signals with a small antenna and an Icom scanner radio and process them with free software (I also use a $35 program now to do the color images and automate the process). These are low orbiting satellites that transmit low resolution images for the public. There are 4 of them and each one makes a good pass over Silverdale two or three times a day," he says.
He adds last week's launch of NOAA19 marked the last satellite that has the APT (automatic picture transmission) system that is easy for hobbyists to receive. The line dates back through all the TIROS satellites for 40 years.
Here is an image he captured with is ICOM radio On Feb. 9:
Pretty neat! If you're interested in this, Dale has a portion of his web site dedicated to how he does it. In the meantime, here's your weekly time lapse fix :)
Silverdale: A swirly day -- watch right at the end the clouds abruptly shift from south to north as a Convergence Zone passes by.
UW: A gorgeous moonset at the start, then watch the storms build late -- likely from that Convergence Zone shown on the Silverdale image too
Silverdale: This one is fascinating -- Dr. Ireland put out his best snow measuring stick -- his Ichiro Bobblehead Doll. Watch as the snow piles up in the afternoon:
Silverdale: A gorgeous sunrise with the snow capped Olympics putting on a show. Then, just as spectacularly as the 10th, the sun comes out and the snow rapidly melts. A great visual of evaporation in action.
UW: Another great moonset at the start, then pay attention to the flow of the high level clouds, starting east to west (the camera is facing west) but then veering northeast to southwest as the low pressure center off our coast drifts to the south. At the very end, you'll see the planet Venus pop up.
Silverdale: Not much here, but a nice sunset late.
UW: Watch the sun halo in the afternoon and then Venus pops up again just after sunset.
Have a great weekend!
P.S. for those of you in the Portland/Willamette Valley area, if you know of anyone who has a similar time lapse camera set up, e-mail me as I'd love to add in a Portland area time lapse to this feature as well.