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 and VIIRS Multi-Sensor Composite
Sea Surface Temperature

Sea surface temperature (SST) is composited into a multi-sensor combined SST product utilizing data from two instruments: the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) on the European MetOp satellites, and the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the U.S. SNPP and NOAA JPSS satellites. This product offers significant improvement over NOAA's legacy operational AVHRR SST product.

The single-sensor SST input data are processed consistently for both instruments using the Advanced Clear-Sky Processor for Oceans (ACSPO) processing system, incorporating an improved SST algorithm and improved quality masking. Specific notable improvements are increased SST accuracy against in-situ data, better masking of clouds, and inclusion of data at temperature fronts.

Only nighttime overpasses for the U.S. east coast are used in the composite, i.e. the data do not represent daytime solar heating of the ocean surface. The NOAA legacy AVHRR SST combines both daytime and nighttime overpasses.

Since the two instruments each fly on multiple satellites (e.g. MetOp-A, MetOp-B, MetOp-C for AVHRR; and SNPP, NOAA-20, NOAA-21 for VIIRS), the product includes SST input data from all satellites carrying these instruments. With two instruments and multiple satellites, the combined product has similar geographic coverage to that of the NOAA legacy AVHRR SST product. Maximizing coverage in this way compensates for the lack of daytime overpasses in this nighttime-only product.

The MetOp satellites have a nighttime local equator crossing time of roughly 9:30 PM, and the SNPP or NOAA satellites have a nighttime equator crossing of roughly 1:30 AM. The combined product thereby represents data throughout the night.

Data from both instruments are gridded on an 830 m earth-projected grid, close to the spatial resolution of the VIIRS instrument, thereby increasing spatial resolution over the NOAA legacy AVHRR SST product's 1.25 km spatial resolution. With this improvement, more data is included along coastlines, particularly narrow coastal areas such as small rivers and bays.

AVHRR Multi-Satellite SST
("NOAA Legacy" SST, day & night)
(ACSPO, night only)
SST comparison: Legacy SST SST comparison: ACSPO SST
Figure: SST comparison for April 26, 2021,
data included along coasts & at temperature fronts,
improved masking of clouds and removal of bad quality data improves
product's accuracy against in-situ data


Jonasson, O., A. Ignatov, V. Pryamitsyn, B. Petrenko, Y. Kihai, 2022: JPSS VIIRS SST Reanalysis Version 3. Remote Sensing, 14(14), 3476,

Petrenko, B., A. Ignatov, Y. Kihai, P. Dash, 2016: Sensor-Specific Error Statistics for SST in the Advanced Clear-Sky Processor for Oceans. Jour. of Atmos. and Ocean. Technology, 33, 345-359, doi:10.1175/JTECH-D-15-0166.1

Petrenko, B., A. Ignatov, Y. Kihai, J. Stroup, P. Dash, 2014: Evaluation and Selection of SST Regression Algorithms for JPSS VIIRS. Journal of Geophysical Research, 119, 4580-4599, doi:10.1002/2013JD020637

Petrenko, B., A. Ignatov, Y. Kihai, and A. Heidinger, 2010: Clear-Sky Mask for ACSPO. Jour. of Atmos. and Ocean. Technology, 27, 1609-1623, doi:10.1175/2010JTECHA1413.1

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

link to DOC home page

The NOAA CoastWatch East Coast Regional Node is hosted within the National Ocean Service and the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office.
NOAA is an agency in the Department of Commerce (DOC).

Search | Customer Survey | Contact Us | Links & Site Map
Privacy Policy | Information Quality | Accessibility | Link Disclaimer

link to NOAA home page
NOAA Home Page NOAA CoastWatch East Coast Node