The MODIS-GOES Hybrid imagery allows for much better detail of cloud structures (besides other non-cloud features), especially during the warm season when large-scale cloud cover is less likely. However, even during times of widespread cloud cover, added detail can be displayed and thus be more apparent to the user.
Below are two hybrid images and one pure GOES image to illustrate this point. The first image at 0801Z 15APR2011 shows a hybrid image, but before insertion of the MODIS image. Over southwest AR, only one “green” pixel is able to be resolved in the GOES data. This green pixel represents a temperature of -72C. But after the GOES-R proxy (i.e. MODIS) image is inserted, this second image at 0815Z shows a plethora of green pixels of different shading, which represent temperatures from -72 to -78C. And if you think some development may have occurred during this 14 minute period between images which is the reason for the vast increase in green pixels, well, think again.
The third image shows the standard GOES image at 0815Z. Notice there are no green pixels at all on the image. The coldest temperature on this image is -71C. Undoubtedly, when the GOES-R proxy (i.e. MODIS) image is inserted, it provides a meteorologist with much more information than just the current GOES data provides. The quality of the data thanks to increased resolution, allows one to detect added features that can be important in determining important changes in intensity of convection, or the further development or dissipation of clouds.
Finally, the last graphic is a radar image from WFO LZK at 0814Z, which shows that the cold cloud tops were associated with a line of severe thuderstorms that were moving east across eastern AR. Note that severe thunderstorm warnings were in effect for areas including those where the coldest cloud tops were observed.