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Data Access - OISST

Summary

NCEI provides access to two kinds of 1/4° daily Optimum Interpolation Sea Surface Temperature (OISST) data: AVHRR-Only, which uses infrared satellite data from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR), and AVHRR+AMSR, which uses AVHRR data along with microwave data from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR) onboard the Earth Observing System Aqua or AMSR-E satellite. AVHRR-Only data span 1981 to the present, while AVHRR+AMSR data span 2002 to 2011.

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Access Options

Daily OISST data are available in binary format or Network Common Data Form (netCDF) via FTP or Thematic Real-Time Environmental Distributed Data Services (THREDDS).

  • Gridded Binary Data via FTP (NOTE: this format will be phased out soon)
    Access AMSR+AVHR and AVHRR-Only data in binary format (big Endian) through our FTP site. Each file contains four fields for each day. The fields are Daily SST, SST anomaly, estimated error standard deviation of the SST, and median sea ice concentration. A land sea mask is also available in binary format. Please see the Readme File for more details.
  • Gridded netCDF Data via FTP (NOTE: this ftp access site is scheduled to be phased out. See announcement above for new access location)
    Access AMSR+AVHR and AVHRR-Only data in netCDF format through our FTP site.
  • Gridded netCDF Data (Obs4MIPS-compliant) via FTP
    Access AVHRR-Only data and monthly averages in netCDF format that meets Observations for Model Intercomparison Projects (obs4MIPs) program requirements.
  • Gridded Data via THREDDS​
    Access AMSR+AVHR and AVHRR-Only data through THREDDS.

Viewing Tools and Codes

You can access a variety of netCDF viewing tools and codes online. NOAA’s Weather and Climate Toolkit will also allow you to view the data, and you can download and install the software automatically on a desktop computer.

Subsetting the data is possible via the LAS server at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). In their capacity as the centralized data distributor for the Group for High-Resolution Sea Surface Temperatures, JPL also provides SST products. Please contact JPL directly for assistance with their website and tools.

The data can also be viewed and subsetted using ERDDAP.

Change Events

The daily OISST dataset is routinely updated every day. The table below lists major production changes in chronological order. These include filename changes, format changes, input updates, and code upgrades. Please register to receive notifications of future changes and updates by e-mail.

Date Changes to AVHRR-Only Changes to AVHRR+AMSR
March 2017 migration to https access site with new files in netCDF4 format (from April 1, 2017 onward) None
January 2012 Near-real time (one-day delay); filename changed to avhrr-only-v2.yyyymmdd_preliminary.nc None
October 6, 2011 None Production suspended indefinitely due to loss of AMSR-E;functionality
August 16, 2011 AVHRR SST: NOAA-18 replaced by NOAA-19 AVHRR SST: NOAA-18 replaced by NOAA19
January 1, 2009 AVHRR SST: NOAA-17 replaced by Metop-A AVHRR SST: NOAA-17 replaced by Metop-A
June 22, 2009 NCEP operational sea ice problematic due to failing instruments (fixed) NCEP operational sea ice problematic due to failing instruments (fixed)
February 16, 2009 New NCEP operational sea ice applied New NCEP operational sea ice applied
November 12, 2008 Daily OISST code upgraded to Version 2 Daily OISST code upgraded to Version 2
July 1, 2008 None AMSR-E data coverage improved by delaying time of OISST processing