Enhanced PIRATA data set for
tropical Atlantic ocean-atmosphere research (ePIRATA)

Daily ePIRATA time series currently extend through December 2022 and will be updated approximately once per year. Available data include subsurface temperature and salinity, mixed layer velocity, near-surface winds, air temperature, relative humidity, and radiation (please see files labeled "other" using the 'Data access' link below). Also available are the individual terms of the mixed layer heat and temperature budgets (files labeled "heat_budget" and "temp_budget").

Data access (login as 'guest' or 'anonymous' to and change directory to phod/pub/foltz/epirata/)

Overview: The Prediction and Research Moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic (PIRATA) provides measurements of the upper ocean and near-surface atmosphere at 18 locations throughout the tropical Atlantic. Time series from the moorings, some of which are more than 25 years in length, are valuable for understanding and monitoring the tropical Atlantic Ocean and climate. However, instrumental biases, data drop-outs (see figure below), and the coarse vertical resolutions of the oceanic measurements, complicate their use for research. An enhanced PIRATA data set (ePIRATA) has therefore been developed for the 17 PIRATA moorings with record lengths of at least seven years. Data in ePIRATA are corrected for instrumental biases, temporal gaps are filled using supplementary data sets, and the subsurface temperature and salinity time series are mapped to a uniform 5-m vertical grid. Important aspects of this data set are that all original PIRATA data that pass quality control and do not require bias correction are retained without modification, and detailed error estimates are provided for each daily-averaged oceanic and atmospheric parameter. The terms in the mixed layer heat and temperature budgets are calculated and provided, with error bars, as part of the ePIRATA data set.

Please contact Greg Foltz ( with questions about the data set, and see PMEL's web site for access to higher temporal resolution and near-real-time daily PIRATA data. The full details of ePIRATA and some initial results are available in a Journal of Climate paper. [pdf]

Support for ePIRATA was provided by NOAA's Climate Program Office.

Caption Annual mean satellite microwave SST (gray shading) and rainfall (colored shading). Symbols show the locations of the PIRATA moorings. Squares indicate moorings that were first deployed in 1997. Triangles and circles indicate the positions of the Northeast Extension and Southwest Extension moorings, respectively, first deployed in 2005-06. The black circle shows the position of the Southeast Extension mooring, first deployed in 2013 and not yet included in ePIRATA because of its short record lengths. Colors of symbols indicate the percentage of PIRATA data that are missing at each location. These gaps are filled in ePIRATA.

External Links

PNE - PIRATA Northeast Extension (NOAA/AOML)