Regression coefficients have been calculated from collocated GOES Imager radiances and SST measurements from NOAA buoys. The GOES radiances were from the 'split-window' channels (the longwave window, band 4, at 10.2- 11.2 micrometers and the 'dirty window', band 5, at 11.5-12.5 micrometers). Careful cloud screening was done to obtain radiances from only clear fields-of-view (FOV). The dependent set of matches for the regression calculation was from September 1996 to April 1997.
The equation currently applied for the realtime images selectable below is:
SST = C0 + C1 * (BT(4)) + C2 * (BT(4) - BT(5))where BT is the equivalent black-body (or 'brightness') temperature for the indicated band and the C's are the empirically determined coefficients.
Images of the derived SST are generated every three hours. The SST values are color-coded, from cold grays and blues to warmer yellows and reds. Land is colored light beige; while, obscuring clouds are indicated by black. The nominal Imager FOV resolution is 4 km.
Once a day at about 1600 UTC, a composite image is produced from the above three-hourly SST images. The warmest SST value at any location is retained; persistent clouds remain in black. The geostationary perspective provides frequent viewing, which permits improved spatial coverage with time, as clouds move in and out of any particular region.
Typical seasonal changes in the SST fields may be seen by viewing daily composite images from October 1997, November 1997, and January 1998.