Short answer: the brown thingy does not show the ridge per se, as you can't really "see" a ridge; it shows dry air which is indicative of a building (or receding) ridge.
The water vapor images display the earth in a manner that correlates to quantity of water vapor in the upper portions of the atmosphere (25,000 feet and higher in general). The actual numbers displayed on the water vapor images correspond to temperature but there is no direct relationship between these values and the temperatures of clouds (as is the case for infrared images) since this channel doesn't really "see" clouds but "sees" high-level water vapor instead. The most useful tidbit to be gained from the water vapor images is the locations of storm systems and the jet stream. Another useful tidbit is aided by the color scale used on the images. In general, regions displayed in shades of red are VERY dry in the upper atmosphere and MAY correlate to crisp blue skies from a ground perspective. On the contrary, regions displayed in shades of blue or green are indicative of lots of high-level moisture and may also indicate cloudiness. This cloudiness could simply be high-level cirrus types or serious storms. That determination cannot be gained from this image by itself but could easily be determined when used in conjunction with the other channels.
Here is an in-depth explanation of a "weather briefing", but there are multiple links which should prove useful in understanding the weather. Hope this helps.
-------------------- 2005 Forecast: 14/7/4
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