News Detail

Crucial weather and water info on Great Lakes just a quick text away

Updated Jul 27; Posted Jul 27

By Mark Torregrossa

Important weather conditions and water conditions are available from a large network of buoys on the Great Lakes. You can get the info with just a quick text. Unlike some of your kids, if you text a buoy it will always text you right back.

There are 57 buoys across all of the Great Lakes. The network of buoys is deployed and maintained by the Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS), NOAA, universities and LimnoTech. 

Each buoy is identified with a five digit identifier number. For example, the Ludington, MI buoy is 45024. The buoy numbers are in the far left column here.

GLOS added seven new phone numbers to handle our texts for buoy info. Text the ID number of the buoy to (734) 201-0750. You will immediately get a text back with wind speed and direction, air and surface water temperature and wave height.

Ed Verhamme, project engineer at LimnoTech, designs and deploys many of the buoys available through "There are 57 buoys in the Great Lakes transmitting data right now. It's a large community of researchers, resource managers and municipalities who share their data publicly to the benefit of everyone. It's free to use, and some of them even broadcast high-quality video."

The GLOS website is optimized for mobile devices. There's more interesting data than just the basic text.

For the full story complete with photos, visit:

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