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NCEP SST Analysis

Because there are a number of different uses for sea surface temperature analysis, a number of different analyses have developed in NCEP. The two families are the RTG -- Real Time Global, and the OI -- Optimal Interpolation. The RTG analyses are aimed at weather prediction and modeling, particularly at high resolution and short range. The OI analyses are lower resolution and aimed more at long range weather and climate. Both have a history. We encourage users of the older analyses to examine the newer and let us know if the newer one fits your usage better.
NameSpace ResolutionTime Resolution
Weekly OI 1 degree 7 days
Daily OI 1 degree ~7 days
RTG Low Res 0.5 degree1 day
QDOI 0.25 degree, 15 arcminutes 1 day
RTG High Res 1/12th degree, 5 arcminutes 1 day

In describing sea 'surface' temperature, there are actually several surface levels that data initially arrive on. For all 5 of our SST analyses, we reference a 'bulk' temperature -- a temperature representative of the upper layer of the ocean. This is approximately the temperature seen by buoys and some ships. Other ships observe lower in the water column. Infrared instruments, such as AVHRR and VIIRS observe most directly the 'skin' temperature, the upper 10 microns of the water. Microwave instruments, such as AMSR-E and WindSat, observe the upper couple of centimeters.
Near Shore Water Temperatures Requested
Robert.Grumbine@noaa.gov -- General questions

Diane.Stokes@noaa.gov -- Specific questions on OI analyses

Bert.Katz@noaa.gov -- Specific questions on RTG analyses


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Page last modified: Tuesday, 05-Feb-2013 15:27:33 UTC