Efficiency improvements using predictive and adaptive methods over satellite channels with weather-induced impairments are presented. Scintillation and rain attenuation are the two dominant factors for signal fading over satellite-Earth paths at operating frequencies over 10 GHz. We develop statistical and spectral analyses of these processes, and obtain simple linear predictors for received signal attenuation using autoregressive (AR) models. For adaptation, we propose changing signal transmission power, modulation symbol size, and/or code rate as the state of the channel changes. In particular, we introduce a continuous power control and discrete rate control strategy. Quantitative analyses of power consumption and channel capacity indicate that there can be a substantial gain in performance with such adaptive schemes.