Any advice greatly appreciated.
Yes, that is rather odd. I am not sure exactly why it acts the way it does. SeaDAS is using the NetCDF-CF reader as it probably should (since the global metadata of the file say it's using the CF-1.6 convention). The behavior is the same in SNAP.
I don't have a quick solution and don't have the time to debug the reader. But a workaround would be the following:
Extract just the SLA product:
$ nccopy -VSLA ssh_grids_v1609_2018061812_i.nc.nc sla-only.nc
Add Lat and Lon bands using the Band Maths function:
Latitude = Y * 0.166666667 - 80
Longitude = X * 0.166666667
Attach these bands for the pixel geocoding using Tools->Geo-coding Attach
It'll still be upside down, so then flip it using the Raster->Flip Data (vertically) function
You can then export the file as a new netCDF file.
You may find the min/max data ranges are wonky -but a quick manual rescale to reasonable values make the picture pretty again:
Is there a mechanism to set the min/max in the netCDF so I don't have to set it each time I load the file?
Is it possible to script the geo-coding and flipping steps (I may have 100's of these to do at some point)?
I felt challenged, so whipped up a python script to "fix" the SLA files (a for loop in your favorite shell can be used to batch process, or edit the attached script to do that)
As for the color, yes, there's a way - see the help for the color manager tool. It has instructions for adding user-defined "color schemes".
Note: here's how to run the "fixSLA.py" script:
fixSLA.py <input file from PO.DAAC> <my new filename>attachment 1