Buoy Levels

Wave Mechanics Atmospheric Conditions
September 24 2023


Buoy data, measuring wave height, frequency, water temperature, air pressure, and more, holds vital significance for climate analysis, earth study, and recreational surfers. It provides essential oceanographic and atmospheric information, aiding climate change research, weather forecasting, and detecting extreme events.

Buoy Map

The interactive heatmap displays real-time data of buoy wave heights along the US coast and other regions. It uses a 3D column representation to visualize the wave height at each buoy's location, covering the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, and Great Lakes regions. Users can interact with the map, zoom in/out, and click on 3D columns to view detailed information.

For surfers, buoy data is a must-have resource, helping identify optimal surfing conditions, potential hazards, and predicting incoming swells. With real-time access through interactive heatmaps or online platforms, buoy data empowers surfers to make informed decisions, enhancing safety and promoting responsible surfing practices. Overall, buoy data bridges the gap between scientific research and recreational interests, deepening our understanding of Earth's interconnected systems.

Wave Height Distribution

Wave height in ocean waves is determined by multiple factors, including wind speed, duration, and direction. Stronger and longer-lasting winds over a greater expanse of water generate larger waves, while factors like wind fetch and duration play roles in wave growth.

Ocean depth influences wave height by compressing energy as waves move into shallower waters, especially near coastlines. Wave period, determined by the time between successive crests, affects wave size, with longer periods resulting in larger waves. Interactions between waves, ocean currents, seafloor topography, and weather patterns, such as storms and their distance from the shore, also contribute to wave height mechanics.

Sea Surface Temperatures

Sea surface temperatures are influenced by various factors, including solar radiation absorption, air temperature, ocean currents, and upwelling from deeper layers. The sun's energy heats the ocean, with higher latitudes receiving less direct sunlight.

Warmer air temperatures can elevate sea surface temperatures, while cold air can cause cooling. Ocean currents transport warmer or cooler waters, affecting local temperatures. Upwelling, driven by winds or currents, brings colder water from below, significantly impacting sea surface temperatures, particularly in coastal regions. Additionally, climate phenomena like El Niño and La Niña can cause periodic shifts in sea surface temperatures, leading to widespread climatic effects.

Pacific Ocean - Strong El Nino Warming Phase

The Oceanic Niño Index (ONI) is a rolling 3-month average temperature anomaly, and used for tracking El Niño-Southern Oscillation climate patterns. Based on the latest data for the last 3 months (JJA), the Oceanic Nino Index is currently 1.06, signifying a strong El Nino period. A persistent above average sea surface temperature may signify an El Niño episode. Conversely, a below average sea surface temperature will signal the onset of La Nina occurences.

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