While we are used to watching weather reports and looking up rain shower tracking websites on a daily basis, that technology has not always been available. Thousands of lives are now saved because great storms that once came out of the blue are now predicted by modern meteorology that strongly depends on the use of satellites. Even events like Earthquakes and their accompanying tsunamis can be better understood and potentially predicted from space.
The Netherlands not only contributes to instruments onboard the weather satellites themselves, but also has a position of expertise in working with satellite data to provide services. Buienradar, for instance, shows storms passing on a local basis so that they can be planned around. Especially with the particularly temperamental weather of the Netherlands, these data and services can provide the daily difference between cancelling a barbeque and simply knowing that you’ll have to run inside for a few minutes at around 7:26 pm.
Even when the weather is nice outside and the sun is shining, satellite data can still help you know to prepare for the adverse effects of UV radiation. Similar to looking up waves of rainstorms, you can find information online about how likely it is that you will be burned if you go to the beach or meet a friend at an outdoor terrace.