Satellite data going back to 1980

NOAA has a pretty huge collection of satellite data on one of their servers at . The sets that appear to be of interest are PRE_GVAR (going back to Sep 1980) and GVAR_IMG (going back to Sep 1994). The problems that I've found are:

(1) First and foremost, if you start dealing with PRE_GVAR, the data sizes are huge... one single pass of data takes 50 to 150 MB.

(2) Lots of gaps... I tried most of the big tornado days from 1981 and 1985 and came up dry. But 2/5/86 (a mediocre severe weather day in Dallas) had images.

(3) On the PRE_GVAR data, at least, you only get AREA and RAW formats. AREA is a McIDAS specific format (no way I can find of viewing it without installing a bunch of Linux stuff), and RAW doesn't import into any viewers I have.

If anyone figures out a workable way to get cool historical images, that would be great. Being at this site though is like standing at a fire hose with a tiny toy pail.

Attached is one image I managed to get from GVAR_IMG of the 1995 Mayfest storm a few hours before the line hit.



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