September 25, 2003
The above image is an enhanced composite taken at 12:00 Universal Time on 10 August 2003, by Europe’s Meteosat Second Generation satellite (MSG-1). A year on from launch, this image illustrates the excellent performance of the innovative radiometer carried by MSG-1. Notice that all of western Europe is cloud-free with the exception of England and Scotland. Residual snow, as well as orographic clouds, give definition to the Alps and Pyrenees (between France and Spain) mountain ranges.
As was mentioned on the Earth Science Picture of the Day for August 18, 2003, clear skies contributed to the record heat experienced in western Europe from late July through mid August. In France alone, the death toll due to this heat wave exceeded 10,000!