Product description

NCEP provides ocean data assimilation systems for the Global Ocean Data Assimilation System called GODAS and for the Climate Forecast System 2 (CFS 2). GODAS runs with either a two-week delay or a one-week delay.

Currently, GODAS assimilates only temperature profiles from XBTs, TAO, Triton, PIRATA and Argo floats. Synthetic salinities are computed for each temperature profile using a local T-S climatology. However, Argo salinity profiles are being assimilated in developmental versions of GODAS.

The Real-Time Ocean Forecasting System (RTOFS) is the first global ocean forecast system at NCEP and has 1/12th degree resolution. It runs once daily and produces an 8-day forecast of three dimensional velociies, temperature, salinity, SSH and Sea ice cover.

Argo data are used in preparing the daily analysis and as validation and verification of forecast skill.

Ocean parameters

The following parameter outputs of the GODAS system can be found here. For each of the outputs listed below, there are monthly climatology versions, monthly product versions, and pentad product versions. There are also many views available, including X-Y, X-Z, Y-Z for each major ocean basin, time-longitude sections and zonal average plots.

  • SST and SST anomaly
  • Depth of 20° and 26° isotherm
  • Tropical cyclone heat potential
  • Mixed layer depth
  • Average temperature in top 300m
  • Surface net heat flux
  • Surface net fresh water flux
  • Sea level
  • Surface zonal and meridional wind stress
  • Surface wind stress vector
  • Surface currents
It is also possible to see the input data distribution maps for each year. All the products listed above are maps, but it is possible to download netCDF and text versions of several of the gridded products.

The following parameter outputs of the CFS2 are available here:


  • Time series
  • Monthly means
  • 6-hourly files
  • Initial conditions


  • Time series from 9-month runs
  • Monthly means from 9-month runs
  • 6-hourly files from 9-month, unperturbed, forecasts

The following parameter outputs of the RTOFS are available here:

  • Temperature
  • Salinity
  • Currents
  • SSH
  • Sea ice cover


GODAS is quasi-global, meaning its dimensions are from 76° S to 65° N. Within that range, there is a 1° by 1° resolution that increases to 1/3° in the north-south direction within 10° of the equator. The model has 40 levels with 10m resolution in the upper 200m.

The RTOFS is global with an Arctic bi-polar patch north of 47°N and a Mercator projection south of 47° through 78.6°S.

GODAS Temperature (140° W)
1982-2004 Annual

CFS2 Equatorial Temperature on 6 January 2015

RTOFS Temperature on 6 January 2015

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