There are many different sensors that can be used for studies of clouds or rain. However, it is only with Envisat that a dual-frequency altimeter has been comanifested with a high-precision infra-red radiometer. This paper is the first to demonstrate the complementary cloud information obtainable from these two sensors. The examples considered here are of major storms brewing in the ITCZ just to the west of Africa. The cloud tops exceed 13 km, but much of this is inactive cirrus shield; the intense rain occurs where the optical depth exceeds 25 units.