NOAA CoastWatch East Coast Node
Data Types Info Data Types: SST         - AVHRR                 - GOES                 - 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 measured using AVHRR's infrared channels. CoastWatch SST images are produced in near real-time for each operational POES and MetOp satellite for the coastal waters of the United States. East coast overpasses for each satellite (swath data) are available for several days. Daily, 3-day, and 7-day composite data (average of all overpasses) are available indefinitely.

The AVHRR sensor measures radiance from the Earth in five channels with 1.1 km spatial resolution at nadir. Satellite estimates of SST are made by converting the radiance measured in the infrared channels to brightness temperature and then using a multichannel technique to calculate SST. Cloud identification masks are also created using visible and infrared channels with a series of spectral gradient, difference, and threshold tests.

Information on the algorithm and validation of the satellite SST's against in-water buoys can be found here.

Channel Number Wavelength (Band)
Primary use

1 0.58-0.68 (visible) daytime cloud, snow and ice mapping data
2 0.72-1.10 (near-IR) surface water delineation, vegetation and agriculture assessments
3 3.55-3.93 (infrared) nighttime cloud mapping, sea surface temperature measurements, land and water distinctions, and hot spot detection such as volcanic activity or forest fires
4 10.30-11.30 (infrared) cloud mapping, sea and land surface temperature measurements, and soil moisture and volcanic eruption data
5 11.50-12.50 (infrared) sea surface temperature measurements and soil moisture data
Data Access

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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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