A number of datasets are available from ECPC data server.

NCEP Reanalysis 1 and 2 can also be obtained from:

R1

http://nomad1.ncep.noaa.gov/pub/reanalysis-1/6hr/sigma (sigma files)
http://nomad1.ncep.noaa.gov/pub/reanalysis-1/6hr/sfcanl (surface files)

R2

http://nomad1.ncep.noaa.gov/pub/reanalysis-2/6hr/sig (sigma files)
http://nomad1.ncep.noaa.gov/pub/reanalysis-2/6hr/sfcanl (surface files)

ECMWF ERA40

Available from ECMWF as well as from NCAR:
http://dss.ucar.edu/pub/era40/
Pressure-level data can be converted to sigma-level using p2sig program. There may be some minor things that need to be worked out. Contact us for more details.

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Sample data for testing libs/etc/ieee2grb_sst that converts SST files to GRIB format can be downloaded from ecpc tsuzumi server. sftp to tsuzumi and go to ieee2grb_sst directory.