You're seeing the frigid tops of Earth's clouds captured in a single moment in February, the height of the Pacific cyclone season. Cyclones Favio [A], Gamede [B] and Humba [C] spin toward Africa. This seamless mosaic, developed by NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, stitches together strips of data from five weather satellites. Their sensors measure infrared radiation (heat) in the atmosphere, so the colder the cloud, the whiter its trace. The ghostly shapes of continents appear dark because the sun warms landmasses in the daytime.
The data set, which is captured every half-hour, is the first to deliver a whole-Earth, near-real-time view of how storm systems evolve.