Even with its numerous hurricanes and tropical weather, the state of Florida receives its weather information from one satellite, Goes-East, which is one of two meteorological satellites that orbit over the equator. The Goes 10 was launched from Cape Canaveral in 1997 from the Atlas I. Operation of the satellite is the responsibility of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS). Tropical sectors that affect Florida include the Gulf of Mexico and the East Coast US, both parts of the Goes East/West Tropical Sectors. Views are updated every 30 minutes.

The GOES satellites provide continuous rotation around Earth at the exact same speed of the rotation of the Earth. Currently, the Goes-8 and Goes-10 satellites orbit the earth; the Goes-9 had a malfunction and is presently in storage in orbit, to be used in case of a failure of one of the working satellites.

Because they are high above the earth, the satellites are able to monitor the beginnings of storms or “triggers” that could cause hurricanes, flash floods, and tornadoes or hail storms. The satellite information is also useful for estimating rainfall amounts or snowfall amounts that allow forecasters to issue warnings in advance, assuring preparation for the conditions. Satellite sensors are also able send back important information on the movement of ice by mapping ice fields.

Additionally, Florida has numerous Southeast Sector “radar stations”. It has been in operation in the U.S. since 1957. Included stations within Florida are Miami, Key West, Tampa and Melbourne. The radar shows such data as images in the precipitation mode, clear air velocity, thunderstorms, tornado and squall lines. Much data for the state comes from the NWS Weather Forecast Office in Key West, Florida.

Some of the services provided by the satellite to Florida include reporting top cloud and surface temperatures, profiling vertical temperature along with moisture and tracking ozone distribution.