Detailed description of why we (weather satellite community) use this color scheme can be found e.g. here: https://cwg.eumetsat.int/color-enhancements/
In brief - the color layout follows:
- Wien's displacement law - blue color represents warmer range, red coldest range (the same principle as color of stars in astronomy)
- Red is for a human brain a signal of some form of danger - in case of convective storms the most dangerous parts of storm tops are the highest tops, which are also the coldest ones.
The typical color enhancement range for European (mid-latitude) storms is between 200K (red) and 240K (blue). For higher latitudes it needs to be shifted to the warmer range, while for tropics and subtropics it needs to be shifted to 190-230K, for the highest storms to 185-225K. It does NOT represent actual distribution and intensity of precipitation, though the coldest parts of storms are in most cases precipitating. In some cases even cirrus clouds (namely those in mountain waves or in a jet-stream) can be very cold, but without any precipitation.
Martin Setvák, CHMI