EUMETSAT Geostationary Satellite Monitors the Sea Surface Temperatures of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans since 2004


  • Richard Legeckis NOAA - NESDIS USA
  • Pierre LeBorgne Meteo-France


ocean, Atlantic, sea surface temperatures, circulation, upwelling


The atmosphere and oceans have been monitored by a EUMETSAT Meteosat Second Generation Geostationary Satellite in the Eastern Atlantic and Western Indian Oceans and adjacent Seas since 2004. This satellite provides daily atmospheric weather conditions and is a valuable climate research tool. We demonstrate that it is also useful for monitoring ocean surface temperatures and oceanic patterns associated with currents, eddies and upwelling. Meteo-France provides an hourly, cloud cleared, validated sea surface temperature product at intervals of 5 km with an accuracy of about 0.5° C relative to in-situ values. Image composites are used to reduce cloud cover at daily and seasonal time scales. Several examples of surface ocean patterns and temperature profiles are used to illustrate the advantages and limitations of the composites and include: Atlantic Tropical Instability Waves, cold core eddies in the lee of the Canary Islands, meanders of the Agulhas Current off South Africa, coastal upwelling along southwestern Spain and temperatures between Gotland Island and the shallow Curonian Lagoon on the coast of Lithuania.

Author Biographies

Richard Legeckis, NOAA - NESDIS USA

Physical Oceanographer

Satellite Remote Sensing


Satellite Applications and Resrach (STAR)

Pierre LeBorgne, Meteo-France


Remote Sensing applications

EUMETSAT Ocean and Sea Ice Facility

Lannion, France