NOAA CoastWatch East Coast Node
Data Types Info Data Types: SST         - AVHRR                 - AVHRR-VIIRS                 - Geo-Polar Blended                 - PODAAC MUR Chl-a       - MODIS                 - OLCI (HiRes)                 - VIIRS Clarity     - K490 (MODIS)                 - K490 (MODIS HiRes)                 - K490 (OLCI HiRes)                 - K490 (VIIRS)                 - Rrs667 (MODIS)                 - Rrs672 (VIIRS)                 - TSM (MODIS HiRes)                 - TSM (OLCI HiRes)                 - TSM (VIIRS HiRes) True Color (VIIRS)
Data Access Info HTTP Rolling Archive FTP Time Series Archive
Region Info Regions: U.S. East Coast North East Coast Gulf of Maine Massachusetts & RI Bays Mid-Atlantic Coast NY-NJ Bight & Long Island Sound Chesapeake & Delaware Bays South East Coast Carolina Coast Florida - Georgia Coast
CoastWatch Utilities Time Series Tool ERDDAP MGET Experimental Algal Bloom Monitor


AVHRR Sea Surface Temperature

The Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) instrument flies on the NOAA Polar Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) and the European MetOp Satellites. AVHRR is used to image a large variety of Earth phenomena, including vegetation, clouds, dust, snow, ice, fire, and surface temperature.

Sea surface temperature (SST) is generated in near real-time using AVHRR's infrared channels by NOAA/NESDIS from High Resolution Picture Transmission (HRPT) overpasses (1.1 km at nadir) using Seaspace's TeraScan software and NOAA's multi-channel regression algorithm (Li et al., 2001a & 2001b). With the various satellite instances, overpasses occur at roughly 1:30am, 9:30am, 1:30pm, 9:30pm (local time) per day.

The individual daytime and nighttime SST scenes from each operational POES and MetOp satellite are composited by NOAA CoastWatch into daily combined day-night mean grids for the U.S. east coast (at approximately 1.25 km). The daily gridded scenes are then composited into 3-day, 7-day, monthly, seasonal and annual average grids. The data time series spans 2008 to the present.

Data users may also opt to use a newer SST data set AVHRR-VIIRS Multi-sensor Composite SST, which features improved algorithms and a slightly finer spatial resolution, among several other dataset differences.


Li, X., W. Pichel, E. Maturi, P. Clemente-Colon, J. Sapper. 2001. Deriving the operational nonlinear multichannel sea surface temperature algorithm coefficients for NOAA-15 AVHRR/3, International Journal of Remote Sensing, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 699-704.

Li., X., W. Pichel, P. Clemente-Colon, V. Krasnopolsky, J. Sapper. 2001. Validation of coastal sea and lake surface temperature measurements derived from NOAA/AVHRR data. International Journal of Remote Sensing, vol. 22, no. 7, pp. 1285-1303.

Data Access
  • See the Data Access page for a variety of data access methods.
  • Or use Direct Download to retrieve files by time-interval and region: HTTP, FTP.

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The NOAA CoastWatch East Coast Regional Node is hosted within the National Ocean Service and the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office.
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