GRIB Model

OSCAR - Ocean Currents

Provider:Earth & Space Research (
Model scope:Global
Update frequency:every 5 days
Resolution:0.333°, 20.0nm, 37.0km
Model duration:all data at time: 0 hr
GRIB model date:Tue Mar 12 00:00:00 2019 UTC
Download date:Wed Mar 13 12:25:00 2019 UTC
Download delay:36hr 25min


The OSCAR model is a global ocean current model that is a little unusual. The OSCAR model does not provide forecasts, rather, it provides historic data and produces an average of the ocean currents over a 5 day period.

This is from the Oscar web site:

The OSCAR product is a direct computation of global surface currents using satellite sea surface height, wind, and temperature. Currents are calculated using a quasi-steady geostrophic model together with an …

(and then it becomes more technical…read the original text for more)

LuckGrib of course also provides ocean current data with the Global RTOFS and several regional NCOM models. These are forecast models - why would you want to use the OSCAR model, which provides an average over several days rather than one of the forecast models?

It seems that OSCAR may be better in areas where the currents are weak and slightly variable? One area is the equatorial counter current, which is often not visible in the RTOFS model at all. By creating an average over several days, weaker tendencies may be more visible. Note that this is not a rigorous statement and I have not found any scientific papers comparing these models.

The OSCAR data appears to be interesting enough to warrant its addition to the suite of LuckGrib models.

Feedback is welcome.

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