Hurricane Satellite (HURSAT) Data

The NCDC Hurricane Satellite (HURSAT) data set consist of raw satellite observations derived from the ISCCP B1 data centered on historical tropical cyclones (TC).

Current Data Set Version 5
Updates To be updated as needed. See revision plans for more information.
Number of storms 3321 tropical cyclones
Number of satellite observations of storms 299,260
Temporal coverage May 30, 1978 to Dec. 15, 2009
Temporal resolution 3 hourly imagery
Spatial coverage Global coverage: all storms are visible from the geostationary constellation (except some early storms in the Indian Ocean)
Spatial resolution ~8km
Data set grid 0.07 deg lat/lon grid centered on the storm location at the time of image with 301x301 pixels (spans ~1100km from the storm center)
Spectral coverage Visible (~0.6um) and infrared window (~11um) and other channels when available: water vapor (~6.7 um), near IR (~3.9 um) and split window (~12 um)
  • SMS-2,
  • GOES-1 to 13,
  • Meteosat-2 to 9,
  • GMS-1 to 5,
  • MTSAT-1R,
  • MTS-2,
  • FY2-C/E
  • non-gonvernment domain netCDF
    • Each netCDF file is a snapshot of the storm from one of the satellites.
    • Multiple netCDF files are possible when a storm is visible by two satellites at the same time.
  • KML
    • See available KML imagery.
Data set generation IBTrACS were temporally-interpolated to match the 3-hourly satellite resolution. The satellite data were then gridded to 8km, with grid centers fixed on the tropical cyclone center of circulation.
Data set details Knapp and Kossin, 2007
Dividing Line


The ISCCP data were tested to determine their long-term stability of infrared observations. This was performed by comparing geostationary-based observations with HIRS footprints. See Knapp (2008) for the details of the calibration.
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