Diurnal warming events between 5 and 7 K, spatially coherent over large areas (∼1000 km), are observed in independent satellite measurements of ocean surface temperature. The majority of the large events occurred in the extra-tropics. Given sufficient heating (from solar radiation), the location and magnitude of these events appears to be primarily determined by large-scale wind patterns. The amplitude of the measured diurnal heating scales inversely with the spatial resolution of the different sensors used in this study. These results indicate that predictions of peak diurnal warming using wind speeds with a 25 km spatial resolution available from satellite sensors and those with 50–100 km resolution from Numerical Weather Prediction models may have underestimated warming. Thus, the use of these winds in modeling diurnal effects will be limited in accuracy by both the temporal and spatial resolution of the wind fields.