PacIOOS has recently redeployed its wave buoy outside of Tanapag, Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands.
The yellow buoy is located about 5 miles offshore and provides valuable wave and ocean information. Data on wave height, direction, and period, as well as sea surface temperature are transmitted in real-time and are publicly available online.
The Tanapag wave buoy broke free from its mooring during Super Typhoon Yutu in October 2018 and was adrift for more than 6 weeks. Approximately 800 nautical miles into the Philippine Sea, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sequoia, stationed in Guam, recovered the buoy.
“We are so grateful for the U.S. Coast Guard’s support and effort to recover the drifting wave buoy. Without their partnership, we would have lost this important ocean observing instrument. The buoy is now back on station and we are excited to continue to provide high quality data to our stakeholders in Saipan and the region,” said PacIOOS director Melissa Iwamoto.
The Tanapag wave buoy is one of three PacIOOS wave buoys in the Mariana Islands; the other two are located off Ritidian Point and Ipan in Guam.
NOAA’s National Weather Service Forecast Office in Guam utilizes all available wave buoy data to assess current conditions, generate forecasts, and formulate advisories and warnings to ensure public safety. “Waves can change dramatically in time and location so it is vital to have buoys in good strategic locations around the islands in order to be able to see approaches from all directions,” said Roger Edson, science and operations officer at the Forecast Office.
Data streaming for the PacIOOS wave buoys is made possible through long-term partnerships with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Coastal Data Information Program (CDIP).