This bulletin, prepared by Mr. W. H. Gemmill, Mr. L. D. Burroughs, and Ms. V. M. Gerald of the Ocean Modeling Branch (OMB), Environmental Modeling Center (EMC), National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) and P. Woicheshyn of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, describes "NCEP improved" ocean surface wind vector data retrieved from ERS scatterometer data at 10 m above the sea surface which is being prepared for distribution through AWIPS, FOS, and GTS in BUFR format.

These data are expected to become operational in late March 2000. They will be issued 4 times a day and contain 6 hours of data centered on the synoptic hours. The issuance times will be approximately 0415, 1015, 1615, and 2215 UTC. Only data from the European Space Agency's ERS2 satellite are currently available. In time data from other satellites with similar instruments will be added to the bulletins after they come on line and their data have been cleared for dissemination. ERS2 is a polar orbiter with an orbit time of 102 minutes with two orbits per day over any given area (one ascending and one descending). An active microwave C-band radar at 5 gHz with 3 one sided fixed antennae is used. It has a swath 500 km wide with a footprint resolution of 50 km and spacing at 25 km.

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