NOAA 2003-R230
Contact: Delores Clark
NOAA News Releases 2003
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NOAA Weather Service) announced today that the data buoy utilized for high surf forecasts on Hawaii’s north-facing shores will be out of commission a few more weeks following the discovery of additional damage. Technicians expect to repair and redeploy the buoy by the week of March 24. NOAA is an agency of the Commerce Department.

The buoy broke free from its moorings on Jan. 10, 2003. Buoy 51001, as it is called, was positioned 190 miles northwest of Lihue, Kauai. The buoy was retrieved by the Coast Guard Cutter Kukui on Feb. 4, 2003, and is now at the Coast Guard Base Sand Island.

In the meantime, the NOAA Weather Service Honolulu Weather Forecast Office is increasing the use of satellite data, surf models, north and south Pacific analyses of winds/storm systems, surf observations, and surf cameras to forecast wave heights and issue high surf advisories and warnings.

The buoy is one of four positioned around the Hawaiian Islands which measure wind speed and direction, sea surface temperature, air temperature, sea level pressure, wave height, and wave energy at various frequencies. WFO Honolulu uses the data to forecast arrival times of high surf conditions and the height of the expected waves.

The 6-meter NOAA Nomad buoy, shaped similar to a boat, is anchored to the bottom of the ocean in water approximately 10,683 feet deep and weighs 19,250 pounds. It is maintained through a collaborative effort by NOAA’s National Data Buoy Center and the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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