In this article you can learn more about what the clouds are hiding.
Most people are somewhat familiar with satellite images, but fewer people know what kind of weather you can expect at the surface when looking at the different cloud formations on an image.
A satellite image can be very useful in order to understand the current weather situation. It is also a helpful tool in order to make a more accurate nowcasting, for example when there are thunderstorms or fog near your location. However, it is often necessary also to use surface observations, in order to better understand the weather situation. For example, it can be hard to see the difference between areas with low clouds and good visibility and areas with fog. Sometimes there are also several layers of clouds which makes it harder to determine the weather at the surface, when only using a satellite image.
Example – March 9th, 2019
The weather situation at the time of the above image:
A weak warm front over France and the Alps is separating the warm and moist air to the south from the colder and more unstable air to the north.
To the northwest, rather cold and dry air, with isolated showers.
Over central Europe and Denmark, somewhat moist air - locally with mist and showers/thunderstorm in connection with and south of a minor low located over the German Bight.
Over the Scandinavian Peninsula, cloudy conditions in connection with an occluded front with snowfall north of the front.
The below image from Blitzortung.com, is showing the lightning activity in connection with thunderstorms (cumulonimbus clouds) for the same time and area.
The dew point temperature (the temperature at which the air is saturated with water vapor) is a good indicator of the type of airmass. By comparing it to real temperature, you can determine if the air is humid (small difference) or dry (large difference).
As seen in the two pictures below, the air over France is rather warm and moist, while you have the opposite relation to the northwest with rather cold and dry air. To the northeast gradually colder air, but especially over southern Sweden also humid air.
The associated weather
The weather at the time of the satellite image is shown below with classic weather symbols.
Below is a more detailed walkthrough of the weather in the areas marked in the image.