How to Read Satellite Match Table

How to read a NASA GLOBE Clouds satellite match table

The satellite match table summarizes your ground observations of clouds and sky conditions with data from satellites collected at about the same time over or nearby your location.


  1. The white column on the left lists all the observations reported and compared with satellite data.
  2. The green column on the right displays your observations that are compared to satellite data. The satellite data is found in the middle columns. This information includes latitude & longitude, date & time, and total cloud cover.
  3. Your report includes cloud cover, cloud opacity, and cloud type for each height (high, mid, and low). Satellites report cloud altitude, cloud phase (liquid, ice, or mix), cloud opacity, and cloud cover.
  4. Cloud cover is represented by circles with different amounts of blue and grey. ​​​​​​​A series of 6 circles indicates the percentage of cloud cover starting with a blue circle on the left for zero or no clouds, followed by a circle that is almost all blue with a little sliver that is gray to represent clear skies with 0 to 10% cloud cover, then a circle that is about 3/4 parts blue and 1/4 gray for isolated or 10-25% cloud cover, followed by a circle that is half blue and half gray for scattered clouds or 25 to 50% cloud cover, followed by a circle that is mostly gray with some blue to represent a broken sky with 50 to 90% cloud cover, and finally a gray circle to represent an overcast sky with 90 to 100% cloud cover.
  5. Cloud altitude is measured in kilometers (km). Cloud phase (liquid, ice, or mix) is measured in Kelvin (K).
  6. Click on the small pictures at the bottom of the table to see the image taken by each satellite at about the same time of your observation. The images are centered in your location.
  7. Your sky and cloud photographs sent in with your GLOBE cloud observations will appear next to the satellite images.
  8. Your observations also include information about Surface Conditions.
  9. Use the “Submit Comment” section to send in any questions or comments related to your observation.