Tune Your Surf Forecasting Skills With Twitter And Buoy Alarm

We’re stoked to announce that each and every one of the 97 buoys tracked by Buoy Alarm are now available on Twitter.

If you’re unfamiliar with Twitter, it is essentially a modern day communication service similar to text and instant messaging. It facilitates instant communication, but unlike a text or instant message (which are typically sent between two individuals), Twitter allows you to broadcast to a large number of people at once. Furthermore, each individual user controls who they are listening to, and who may listen to them, at any given moment.

Buoy Alarm posts individual buoy observations to Twitter as soon as they become available. These “tweets” include report time, dominant swell height, period, and direction. Following a buoy on Twitter is currently the best way to actively monitor its conditions because observations are immediately available and may be delivered to your desktop, laptop, or mobile phone concurrently.

Here is an example: I notice that a Northwest swell is in the forecast for Hawaii (like this Sunday evening, cheehu!), so I begin to follow the Northwest Buoy. I will now receive an update every hour from Buoy 51101 via Twitter.  I use one of the free Twitter applications to monitor conditions while on my computer, and another on my iPhone while on the go. This allows me to see when the intial forerunners arrive (spike in swell period), when the swell peaks (maximum swell height), and when it begins to fade (both period and height taper off). Once the swell concludes, if there are no others in the forecast, I’ll unfollow the buoy on Twitter, thereby ceasing report delivery.

The beauty of this is you can be at a surf spot, watching the actual local surf conditions, and refer to the buoy’s historical readings via Twitter.  This allows you to tune your own surf spot’s reaction to a swell, and further your own forecasting abilities. If you’re diligent, you’ll soon begin to recognize that magical combination of swell height, period and direction that creates epic conditions at your local surf break.

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