Improved Real-Time Wave and Wind Observations via Twitter

Improving ocean enthusiasts’ accessibility to real-time buoy data is a primary objective for us. Buoy Alarm was the first to deliver real-time observations via Twitter, and we currently maintain a network that provides updates for over 120 buoys, totaling over 3,000 tweets per day.

Today, we’re proud to announce the addition of meteorological data to our network’s Twitter feeds. Although the observation capabilities of each buoy varies, as of today, all observed readings will be delivered via Twitter and prefaced with a (Met) label. This includes wind speed, wind direction, water temperature, air temperature, and pressure data.

We’ve also improved our wave reports to deliver detailed wave data via Twitter, including significant wave height, primary swell, and wind wave data. Each of these reports provides height, period, and direction when available, and is prefaced by a (Wave) label.

Keep in mind this is real-time, observed data, not a computer model. The reported data reflects actual ocean conditions at the report time, and are delivered via Twitter as soon as they become available.

Our data labels are based on the NDBC measurement system, and a quick rundown of each is available below:

  • WSPD: Average Wind Speed (Knots)
  • GST: Wind Gust (Knots)
  • WDIR: Wind Direction (the direction the wind is coming from in degrees clockwise from true North)
  • ATMP: Air Temperature (Degrees Fahrenheit)
  • WTMP: Water Temperature (Degrees Fahrenheit)
  • DEWP: Dew Point (Degrees Fahrenheit)
  • PRES: Atmospheric Pressure (Hectopascals)
  • PTDY: Pressure Tendency (Hectopascals)
  • SWELL: Primary Swell Height (Feet), Period (Seconds), and Direction (the direction the waves are coming from in degrees clockwise from true North)
  • WIND WAVE: Wind Wave Height (Feet), Period (Seconds), and Direction (the direction the wind waves are coming from in degrees clockwise from true North)
  • WVHT: Significant Wave Height
  • APD: Average Wave Period
  • MWD: Dominant Period Wave Direction (the direction the waves at the dominant period are coming from in degrees clockwise from true North)

A Twitter account is required to take advantage of these free reports. Once you’ve registered with Twitter, simply follow the buoy you’re interested in and you’ll automatically receive report data as it’s published.

A few of our recommendations include Waimea Bay, HI (@buoy51201), Half Moon Bay, CA (@buoy46012), Dana Point, CA (@buoy46223), Cape Canaveral, FL (@buoy41010), and Buoy Alarm (@buoyalarm) of course!

For an overview of all available buoys, visit the Buoy Alarm regional map.