The animations here were made from GOES geo satellite images. Go to the GOES image viewer page
. You can get to this from any NOAA local forecast page by clicking on the satellite image at the bottom. There are a variety of full-US images and animations here, with the most recent images at the links. Use the "North America" pulldown to select a page with close-ups of a particular region. For example, the Pacific Northwest - all channels
page. The animations here fine, but they're reduced-res. I pulled the higher res individual images to make the animations posted here.
Click on any of the single images, which will pop-up in a box. At the bottom of that box is a "download" link. Click on that (or left-click, "view background image"). This is the direct link to the jpeg file. In the URL, delete the filename leaving the rest of the path. This will take you to a directory listing with links to the 5 most recent days worth of individual files at various resolutions, at 5-minute intervals. Click and download the files you want and save for making animations. I use a script with "wget" to automatically download the ones I want. An anonymous ftp might work. I tried sftp and that did not work.
Once you have the files you want you can animate with other tools. I use IDL and my own scripts for cropping out subsections, binning, rescaling and writing animated gifs. For .mp4 I use ffmpeg
, which I downloaded and compiled from source on a mac. There may be binaries for download. On a mac you could also use imovie to make animations. In both cases you just need a set of individual images (jpeg, png, etc) to feed to the applications. IDL has an mp4 writer but the built-in video codecs are antiquated and they defer to the ffmpeg libs for the new ones. I'm sure there are lots of other encoding tools out there.
Another good source for high-res color imagery are the MODIS cameras on the Terra and Aqua LEO satellites
. Closer to earth than the GOES geo, but only one or two daylight passes so they're not so good for animations.
Here are today's Aqua images covering the west coast
. This is a nice one of the northwest
. The quicklook images are of a few specific locations at high-res, depending on the particular pass.