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NESDIS-GOES I/M
browse graphic GOES satellites provide continuous reliable operational, environmental and storm warning systems to protect life and property from a geo-synchronous orbit at an altitude of approximately 35,800 km. They provide a constant vigil for the atmospheric "triggers" for severe weather conditions such as tornadoes, flash floods, hailstorms, and hurricanes. When these conditions develop the GOES satellites are able to monitor storm development and track their movements. GOES satellite imagery is also used to estimate rainfall during thunderstorms and hurricanes for flash flood warnings, as well as estimate snowfall accumulations and overall extent of snow cover. Such data help meteorologists issue winter storm warnings and spring snowmelt advisories. Satellite sensors also detect ice fields and map the movements of sea and lake ice and monitor the space environment around the satellite.