AGU Virtual Town Hall Discussion (TH017)

TH017: AGU


Satellite Data for Ocean and Coastal Science and Applications: Products, Tools, and Access Services Through NOAA.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

7:15 p.m. - 8:15 p.m. EST

AGU attendees,  learn about available global and regional data products and how to access them. 

NOAA CoastWatch scientists will answer your questions! 

CoastWatch Announcement



Upcoming CoastWatch Satellite Data Course - January 2022

Are you interested in using oceanographic satellite data in your work but don't know where to start? The NOAA CoastWatch program offers in-person and online courses, where participants learn about environmental satellite data and how to easily obtain it. Participants also gain hands-on experience working with the data that may help their projects and application. A major goal of the course is to provide scientists who are not regular users of satellite data with the knowledge and tools they need to incorporate satellite data into their research and management projects.

Job Opening with CoastWatch: CIMAR OceanWatch Researcher

The Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (CIMAR) is currently recruiting for a permanent Researcher position to work with OceanWatch Central Pacific Node of the NOAA CoastWatch/OceanWatch/PolarWatch Program.  The researcher will be based at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in Honolulu, HI, and work closely with the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center’s Ecosystem Sciences Division. 

DEADLINE: Please note the deadline to apply is 11/15/2021

Metop-A End of Life

NOAA CoastWatch will no longer provide sea surface temperature (SST) or wind products from Metop-A.  CoastWatch has added Metop-C sea surface temperature and vector winds data to its portfolio as a replacement for these products. 

Per the EUMETSAT announcement:

The Metop-A satellite, launched on 19 October 2006, has massively exceeded its design lifetime of five years. However, it is now time for it to retire.

DMSP SSM/I products discontinued

DMSP F-15 end of mission occurred Aug 9, 2021 around 0424 EDT (0824Z) as controllers and engineering executed the end-of-life (EOL) CP.  Around 0054 EDT (0454Z) the spacecraft had lost earth lock and that the end of the mission was imminent.  

All products derived from SSMI data are discontinued.


Original Message:


Topic: Termination of DMSP F-15 (SSMI-9) Products

S-NPP [VIIRS] Spacecraft Issue - Final Update

Beginning August 3, 2021 12:46:45 UTC, the S-NPP spacecraft entered a state where it was no longer mission pointing and instruments were placed in safehold.  Users should expect a gap of S-NPP VIIRS data from August 3, 2021 12:46:45 UTC until full recovery of the VIIRS instrument.  

CoastWatch resumed processing at 0000Z on August 6, 2021 (Day of Year 218).  

Status updates:


Expected delays/interruptions due to planned PDA Failover

The NESDIS Product Distribution and Access (PDA) system will undergo planned failover that will affect the timeliness of some CoastWatch products.  Products from GOES, S-NPP, NOAA-20, and MetOp spacecraft will be affected (sea surface temperature, winds, sea level anomaly, ocean color: chlorophyll, Kd490).  

Topic: Planned PDA Partial Failover to CBU and Full Outage of PDA OPS at NSOF 

Date/Time Issued:  June 24, 2021 1756Z

CoastWatch is hiring a new Operations Manager for OceanWatch central Pacific!

The Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (JIMAR) is currently recruiting for a permanent Researcher position to work with NOAA’s CoastWatch/OceanWatch/PolarWatch Program ( who will be based at the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center’s Ecosystem Sciences Division in Honolulu, HI.  The

Possible NOAA CoastWatch service interruption February 20-21 2021.

Maintenance is planned for infrastructure housing NOAA CoastWatch processing.  Although much of the processing has redundancy, there is a possibility of a data outage.  An outage may occur beginning 20 February 2021.  Affected product processing may not be restored until 22 February 2021.  Return-to-service times will vary based on the assurance level associated with the affected product.  

Products impacted:  All [SST, Ocean Color, Altimetry, SAR, etc]

Services impacted:  All  [Websites, THREDDS, ERDDAP, FTP, CDN]

Times:  20-21 February 2021

CoastWatch Regional AVHRR and VIIRS 'Heritage' Products - change in distribution

On March 1, 2021,  legacy/heritage CoastWatch regional AVHRR and VIIRS products in HDF format will no longer be distributed by vmcwsst3 [or accessible using the 'cwdownload' utility].  [Note,  NOAA-18 and NOAA-19 products ceased production 03FEB2021]

These products will continue to be processed and available to users through the following outlets:

Planned discontinuation of NOAA-18 and NOAA-19 AVHRR SST products

Reminder on the planned discontinuation of NOAA-18/-19 AVHRR SST regional products from NOAA CoastWatch.

Products will cease distribution on February 3, 2021.

Topic: Termination of the CoastWatch SST products from NOAA-18 and NOAA-19

Date/Time Issued:  January 26, 2021

Product(s) or Data Impacted:  CoastWatch SST products from NOAA-18 and NOAA-19

Date/Time of Initial Impact: February 3, 2021 UTC

Date/Time of Expected End: N/A

Update to Delays in S-NPP and NOAA-20 Ocean Color

Processing underway and near real-time L2 data are available.

Prior notice 02DEC2020:

Level-2 ocean color products from S-NPP and NOAA-20 VIIRS are currently suspended during a system upgrade.  These products should resume within the next 48 hours.  Products that are generated from the Level-2, such as global 4 km and 750 m regional products are impacted.



2nd International Operational Satellite Oceanography Symposium, 25-27 May 2021 - Call for Abstracts

EUMETSAT and NOAA are co-organizing the second International Operational Satelltie Oceanography Symposium which will build on our first gathering in June 2019 of community members involved in all levels of the observation-to-information value chain, from data providers to users, of operational satellite oceanographic data, products and applications. 


Planned discontinuation of NOAA-18 and NOAA-19 AVHRR SST products

Announcing the planned discontinuation of NOAA-18 and NOAA-19 AVHRR SST products from NOAA CoastWatch:

Due to the availability of higher quality data,  our operational partners will be discontinuing the processing of regional sea surface temperature products from AVHRR aboard NOAA-18 and NOAA-19 in December, 2020.  Products will continue to be provided from Metop-A and  Metop-B AVHRR instruments and S-NPP and NOAA-20 VIIRS instruments. 

Global, multi-sensor, gap-filled, science quality chlorophyll is on the Data Portal

The global, multi-sensor, gap-filled (i.e., DINEOF), science quality chlorophyll is now on the CoastWatch Data Portal.  This URL link will open the Data Portal with this  gap-filled product in the scene.  Reminder that science quality ocean color data are available on a ~2-week delay, so use the calendar to view

Information technology issues affecting CoastWatch Products and Services

Unforeseen issues have arisen affecting our website links and behind the scenes product processing.  Please bear with us as products and services are restored.  Should you have immediate needs,  please email our help-desk ( as there may be secondary URLs to access data products. 

Some of the more prominent known issues include:

Sentinel -3B is back at CoastWatch / Possible delays in Sentinel-3B CoastWatch data products

Sentinel 3B products are back online at CoastWatch.


Planned processing changes are scheduled for Thursday January 30, 2020.  There may be a delay in the processing and distribution of CoastWatch Level-2 (RGB) and Level 3 (mapped) products.  These changes will not affect data products nor data access pathway.  Products delivery times should return to normal by February 1, 2020. 

Level-2 data passthrough from EUMETSAT will not be impacted. 

Training Course Updates: Charleston SC and San Juan PR

East Coast Node has announced details for their 3-day training course 23-25 June in Charleston, SC

Are you interested in using oceanographic satellite data in your work but don't know where to start? The NOAA CoastWatch East Coast Regional Node will offer a three-day course, June 23-25, 2020, at the Hollings Marine Laboratory in Charleston, SC, where participants will learn about environmental satellite data and how to easily obtain it. Participants also gain hands on experience working with the data of interest to them.

Impacts of Product Outage/Anomaly: VIIRS SDR reflective solar bands (RSB) 16 & 17 January 2020

Users of VIIRS ocean color products should be aware of a processing anomaly that affected products for the days of 16 and 17 January 2020.  The source of the problem in the satellite data records (SDR; i.e., Level 1) has been resolved as of 18 January production.  CoastWatch will be assessing impacts on CoastWatch products (environmental data records EDR or Level 2; and higher level processing, Level 3, Level 4) for this period.   Some data files may be flagged or removed.  Please consider potential impacts to your applications if you have routinely ingested VIIRS near real time

Jason-2 will permanently cease acquisitions on 1 Oct 2019

After more than 11 years in orbit and well beyond its three- to five-year mission baseline, the Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM) on Jason-2 will permanently cease acquisition of scientific data at 06:48 UTC on 1 October 2019 due to aging-related issues onboard the spacecraft.  Approximately three hours later, the final pass 147 for science cycle 644 will be produced as an OGDR product and disseminated to operational users.  IGDR production will cease about 2.5 days later, GDR production approximately 2 months later.

Scheduled service interruption 28MAY2019 - update

NOAA CoastWatch THREDDS and FTP servers will undergo maintenance on Tuesday May 28, 2019 at 1100 EDT (1500UTC)  [changed from 0800 EDT (1200 UTC)]. Services and data in NetCDF/HDF formats may be unavailable for up to 2 hours. See the News section on the CoastWatch website for updates regarding this planned maintenance event. The following URLs will be affected:


Release of CoastWatch CDAT and Utilities version 3.5.0

A new release of the CoastWatch software is available.  Changes include using Java OpenSDK11.0 and performance improvements to cwregister, cwmath, and cwcomposite.  Accuracy improvements were made to mapping data with terrain-corrected locations to reduce mapping errors over land.  See the CoastWatch Utilities page for more details and access to the new release.

NOAA discontinues operational AVHRR GAC SST Products

The operational production of the Global Area Coverage (GAC; 4km/nadir) ACSPO SST data from AVHRR instruments aboard NOAA-18/19, and Metop-A/B will be discontinued on or after June 2, 2019. From that point on, ACSPO SSTs will continue to be available from three Full Resolution Area Coverage (FRAC; ~1km/nadir) mid-morning ("AM") Metop-A, -B and -C, and from two VIIRSs (~750m/nadir) onboard afternoon ("PM") NPP and NOAA-20. ACSPO SST from all historical AVHRR/2 and /3 GAC records will only be available in a reprocessing mode, as a part of ACSPO AVHRR GAC Reanalysis ("RAN") project.

NOAA CoastWatch Processing -- Update 3/13/2019

As of 13MAR2019,  CoastWatch distribution of data and products has been sporadic due to numerous issues. The following products are currently unavailable:

  • S-NPP VIIRS Ocean Color Level-2 and Level-3 Regional/Sector/Global  products 
  • Sentinel-3A OLCI Ocean Color Level-3 Regional and Global products
  • SAR Wind products.
  • S-NPP VIIRS and Aqua MODIS True Color products

The following products were delayed:

More about Training Day for OSO Symposium in June 2019

The Operational Satellite Oceanography (OSO) Training Day on Monday, 17 June 2019, in association with the OSO Symposium  in Washington DC area will cover 3 topics and will allot time for individual guidance:

1) Ocean satellite products available

2) Data discovery, access and tools

3) Example applications

4) Time for individual guidance or assistance.

Participants are encourage to bring their own laptops.  No terminals will be provided.

VIIRS Quality Issue Resolved

Data Quality UPDATE: Near Real Time VIIRS SNPP Ocean Color products quality issue resolved with data beginning March 2, 2018.

Dear Users,

The calibration issue affecting the NOAA/IDPS Sensor Data Record (SDR, i.e., L1B) for VIIRS SNPP and the Near Real Time Ocean Color Environmental Data Record (EDR) has been resolved. Data processed as of March 2, 2018 and onward meet quality standards. Thank you for using NOAA CoastWatch/OceanWatch data.

Service Announcement

Dear CoastWatch VIIRS Ocean Color User,

Good news! The NOAA VIIRS Science Quality Ocean Color Level 2 Environmental Data Record products have been improved. Currently, CoastWatch is replacing the entire mission-long dataset with the new dataset from MSL12 v1.21 reprocessing. The new dataset will be available August 9,2017. Please check back soon to access full mission, MLS12 v1.21 VIIRS ocean color products.

Thanks for your interest in CoastWatch data. Please consider signing up for our mailing list for future announcements.

Level-3 daily sea level anomaly datasets are now available

NOAA CoastWatch/OceanWatch is now distributing daily Level-3 sea level anomaly datasets produced by the NOAA Laboratory for Satellite Altimetry. The datasets are produced globally with near-real time data from a constellation of radar altimeter missions.

Click here for more information: