I was up late working on the next iteration of Buoy Alarm, and noticed a sneaky Northwest swell while testing some new layouts. The forecast models, bless their computerized little clock-beats, seem to have missed this swell completely. In fact, the forecast conditions for the Northwest Hawaii buoy on March 29 at 2:00 a.m. were a mixture of short-period wind swell and a NW component of 1.6 feet at 15 seconds… no where near the real-time report of 7.2 feet at 14.8 seconds.
Now the Wavewatch III model is awesome, and it generally serves us well, but there are instances where having access to real-time, observed conditions provides insight that models cannot. It is our goal to make accessing that information easy and intuitive, and we’re working on a number of improvements to do just that.
We’re also working towards a fully customizable alarm system that is capable of notifying you when specific conditions are met, in real-time. A push system that delivers notifications via email, Twitter, sms, and voice, that ensures you’ll know if @buoy51101 is suddenly reporting 17-second swell periods. Or the water temperature dips below 60° F. Or the winds are currently East at 15 knots.
If you are a mariner, surfer, sailor, bodyboarder, fisherman, or McDonald’s tray rider looking to improve your ocean awareness, we are building a tool for you.