NOAA 2007-021
Contact: Greg Romano
NOAA News Releases 2007
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Office of Communications


NOAA has deployed the first two of eight new hurricane buoys off Puerto Rico in an effort to fill a gap in important weather data coming from warm, storm-generating waters there. Six more hurricane buoys will be placed in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean before the hurricane season ends in November.

These buoys measure wind, wave, barometric pressure and air and sea temperatures to determine hurricane formation or dissipation, extent of wind circulation, maximum intensity and center location. Hurricane buoys provide year-round data for analysis and forecasts of other marine disturbances, but are more robust than other weather buoys because they contain an internal back-up system.

“We are in a period of an active hurricane cycle and this deployment equips our forecasters witha n additional tool to track hurricanes and support our mission of saving lives and livelihoods,” said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “Additionally, this feeds into the Global Earth Observation System of Systems, or GEOSS, which is an international collaboration to share vital weather data and other environmental information critical to our understanding of the Earth’s processes.”

The first of the eight new hurricane buoys is also the 100th weather buoy maintained by NOAA’s National Data Buoy Center, located at Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, Miss., and is part of NOAA’s National Weather Service. The center has expanded the number of weather buoys by 54 percent over the last seven years.

“This growth was fueled by the recognition that there is only one way to really know the weather at sea — by being there,” states Paul Moersdorf, director of NOAA’s National Data Buoy Center. “Priority has been placed in areas with serious weather. For exsample, we deployed 13 buoys in Alaskan waters, which experiences nasty weather all year long. We also have nine buoys that are designed to take a hurricane ‘licking’ and continue providing critical data to the National Hurricane Center and coastal residents of the Caribbean, Central America and southeast U.S.”

Beyond the six forthcoming hurricane buoys, the National Data Buoy Center is funded to deploy another weather buoy for Alaska and 11 new tsunami stations between now and March 2008.

In addition to the weather buoys, NOAA’s National Data Buoy Center maintains 56 coastal stations, 28 tsunami warning and detection stations and 55 climate forecasting and research stations. The center also processes, quality controls and distributes data from more than 250 non-National Weather Service sources.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Commission of Fish and Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

On the Web:


NOAA’s National Data Buoy Center: