The first problem is that satellite images show the tops of clouds, not what is falling beneath them. So looking at a satellite image will not directly answer the question, “Is it snowing?” Second, it is sometimes difficult to know if a cold cloud top means that the cloud is thick (and producing lots of snow) or is a thin wispy cloud producing no precipitation. High, thin clouds often move faster than thicker clouds, and they also might appear “wispy” on the satellite image. 

You now know the quick version of how to use infrared satellite, but keep in mind that these images are only one tool you should use to chase powder.