OSI-SAF Meteosat SST


Provider: SAF on Ocean and Sea Ice - Météo-France - Centre de Météorologie Spat- Avenue de Lorraine - BP 50747 - 22307 LANNION CEDEX - FRANCE

Contact person: OSI-SAF Manager (Send mail)

Contact for production: CMS (Send mail)

Algorithm development: Météo-France/CMS(Send mail)

Atlantic Sea Surface Temperature Product Manual : http://www.osi-saf.org/biblio/docs/ss1_pmatlsst_1_6.pdf

Low Earth Orbiter (LEO) Sea Surface Temperature (SST). Sea surface temperatures can show features like fronts, eddies, coastal upwelling, currents etc. delineating different water masses. SST is used by environmental, marine, meteorological and climate organizations for seasonal forecasts, climate change detection, environmental approach, and productivity.

Values range between ~270K and ~308K (the unit is Kelvin).

Data Portal: OSI-SAF

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Platform & processing

AVHRR data from MetOnd NOAA satellites. Level 1 Metagranules (MGR) are processed to level 2 (including SST) at the rate of 1 minute per 3 minutes of data. NAR data are processed twice daily. Global (GLB) products are 12hr syntheses from MGR centered at 0000 and 1200UTC.


The upgraded OSI SAF geostationary SST chain includes the following main steps

  • preprocessing: Every frame of MSG/SEVIRI radiometric data is ingested in full space resolution every 15 minutes
  • cloud mask control
  • SST calculations
  • proximity confidence value determination.

The operational SST algorithm used in day and night conditions for MSG/SEVIRI (at present METEOSAT_9) is the (non linear) NL algorithm described by the following equation:

SST = (a + b Sθ) T11 + (c + d TCLI + e Sθ) (T11 - T12) + f Sθ+ g

where T11 and T12 are the BTs at 10.8 and 12.0 µm, respectively. TCLI is a climatological SST value.

a, b, c, d, f and g are coefficients (see table 2) determined from brightness temperature simulations on a radiosonde profile database (Francois et al., 2002), with the offset coefficient corrected relative to buoy measurements.

Sθ = secant(θsat) –1; θsat is the satellite zenith angle


See the OSI-SAF Product User Manual

Product uncertainties

Cloud cover limits coverage of the sea surface. One pixel/one temperature.It is recommended not to use the quality level 2 data for quantitative use. Usable data are those with confidence values 3, 4 and 5.

Product dissemination

OSI-SAF Meteosat SST is distributed in GRIB format is available in near real time via EUMETCast-Africa and ofline from the EUMETSAT data centre. Data in NetCDF format is available in near real time and offline via the IFREMER FTP server.

Product validation

Product is peer reviewed. A preliminary validation report is available (see references). More information is available on the Web site www.osi-saf.org

Data characteristics

OSI-SAF Meteosat SST: 60°W, 60°E, 60°N, 60°N coverage at 0.05 ° resolution

Array of quality indexes: (5) excellent, (4) good, (3) acceptable, (2) bad, (1) erroneous, (0) unprocessed.


When the processing changes, archive is also usually reprocessed.

Useful references:

Francois, C., A. Brisson, P. Le Borgne and A. Marsouin, 2002, Definition of a radio-sounding database for sea surface brightness temperatures simulations: application to sea surface temperature retrieval algorithm determination, Remote Sens. Environ., 81, 309-326.

Le Borgne, P., G. Legendre, A. Marsouin, S. Péré, S. Philippe. (2011A) Upgraded chain from MSG/SEVIRI and GOES-E: validation report