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The Buoy is Back in Town

June 4, 2024

A high-tech weather buoy in Lake Michigan is providing useful and real-time data to boaters, anglers and meteorologists – right offshore of the D.C. Cook Nuclear Plant.

The information is very popular with the buoy receiving nearly a half-million data requests in one season. The innovative buoy is loaded with a number of

instruments that transmit the following weather and water data:

  • Air temperature
  • Wind speed and direction
  • Water current speed and direction
  • Wave height
  • Water temperatures at several depths below the surface

The information the buoy gathers is used by meteorologists at the National Weather Service (NWS) offices in Northern Indiana and Grand Rapids, Mich. to improve predictions of high waves and rip currents along the shoreline. The United States Coast Guard also uses buoy data to respond to distress calls from boaters to assess wind and wave conditions.

The buoy is located two and a half miles off shore of the plant and was originally launched in 2011 by the Cook Nuclear Plant to collect information for water intake study. But the data was so popular the plant has continued to put the buoy in each spring.

Still photos and video clips are taken once an hour and available online with the real-time data. You can view the data by:

The buoy will operate in Lake Michigan through the fall.

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