The NOAA 1/4° daily Optimum Interpolation Sea Surface Temperature (or daily OISST) is an analysis constructed by combining observations from different platforms (satellites, ships, buoys) on a regular global grid. A spatially complete SST map is produced by interpolating to fill in gaps. More information from the NOAA website.

We have a local copy, updated daily of the AVHRR-Only OISST, which uses infrared satellite data from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR).

The data covers from September 1981 till present, with daily temporal resoultion.

The scripts used to download and concatenate the data are available from the CMS github .

NOAA has changed the delivery mode of this dataset in 2017, they also switched to netcdf4 format: "data from 1 April 2017 onward are in netCDF4 (with internal compression, so files will not be named *.gz) format. Older files are still netCDF3, until further notice." 

NB there is a potential bias introduced in data from 2017 onwards for v2.0, NOAA has recently released a new corrected version v2.1

Initially this version was available only from 2016 onwards, as of the 21st of May the all v2.1 series is available, from 1981 to present day.

Also, the initial release had a timestep issue so some files were off by 12 hours, this has been fixed int he current release. 


This dataset is freely available, there are no use limitations or accounts needed. Although there is an optional registration form that can be reached from the documentation page in the NOAA website under the "data access" session. Please consider register, so you'll receive updates on the data and as this also helps the data publishers to get an idea of the data usefulness and continue providing for public access. Use the following publications to cite the dataset:

Huang, B., C. Liu, V. Banzon, E. Freeman, G. Graham, W. Hankins, T. Smith, and H.-M. Zhang, 2020: Improvements of the Daily Optimum Sea Surface Temperature (DOISST) - Version 2.1. (J. Climate, submitted). (for v2.1)

Banzon, V., Smith, T. M., Chin, T. M., Liu, C., and Hankins, W., 2016: A long-term record of blended satellite and in situ sea-surface temperature for climate monitoring, modeling and environmental studies. Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 8, 165–176, doi:10.5194/essd-8-165-2016(link is external). Reynolds, R. W., T. M. Smith, C. Liu, D. B. Chelton, K. S. Casey, and M. G. Schlax, 2007: Daily high-resolution-blended analyses for sea surface temperature. Journal of Climate, 20, 5473–5496, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00293.1(link is external).

OISST on raijin

This dataset is available on raijin under the ua8 project (NB this might change in the near future because of the NCI data re-organisation). The original data is located in

/g/data/ua8/NOAA_OISST/AVHRR/raw/<year>/<files.gz>. for v2.0


NB the v2-0 files are zipped as when downloaded.

The files are then concatenated for ease of use into yearly files, the resulting modified dataset is available under