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Dial-A-Buoy: Telephone Accessible Weather Information from selected Buoys
Entry ID: 01-buoy-99
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Abstract: Dial-A-Buoy gives mariners an easy way to obtain weather reports when away from a computer/the Internet. Wind and wave measurements taken within the last hour at buoy and coastal weather stations operated by NDBC and a growing number of Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOSŪ) partners can be heard using a cell phone. NDBC, a part of the National Weather Service (NWS), created Dial-A-Buoy in 1997. In 2007, NDBC and the National Ocean Service's Center for Operational Ocean Products and Services (NOS/CO-OPS) jointly implemented a replacement for the original system which had operated well beyond its expected life cycle. The new system is an extension of the Great Lakes Online service that NOS/CO-OPS is expanding to include its National Water Level Observation Network (NWLON) stations.

Large numbers of boaters use the observations, in combination with forecasts, to make decisions on whether it is safe to venture out. Some even claim that the reports have saved lives. Surfers use the reports to see if wave conditions are, or will soon be, promising. Many of these boaters and surfers live well inland, and knowing the conditions has saved them many wasted trips to the coast.

Buoy reports include wind direction, speed, gust, significant wave height, swell and wind-wave heights and periods, air temperature, water temperature, and sea level pressure. Some buoys report wave directions. Coastal weather stations report the winds, air temperature, and pressure; some also report wave information, water temperature, visibility, and dew point. .

Related URL
Description: To get station identifiers via Internet, a user can find links from
the Home Page.
Service Citation
Originators: National Data Buoy Center
Title: Dial-A-Buoy
Provider: National Weather Service
ISO Topic Category
This service was primarily designed for boaters and surfers interested in
coastal and water weather conditions.
Access Constraints
Using any touch tone or cell phone, users dial (228) 688-1948 to call the
service. Users must also know the five-digit station identifier. Station
identifiers can be acquired via the Internet at or
telephone. To access station identifiers by phone, users can enter their fax
number to receive a map of stations or they can enter a latitude and longitude
to receive closest station locations.
Use Constraints
Users must enter phone information slowly and in order. For example, if a user
enters a station identifier before the message finishes, an error message will
be relayed.
Service Provider
National Data Buoy Center, National Weather Service, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce

Service Provider Personnel
Email: webmaster.ndbc at
Contact Address:
National Data Buoy Center
Building 1100
City: Stennis Space Center
Province or State: MS
Postal Code: 39529
Country: USA
Distribution Media
Distribution_Media: Electronic
Distribution_Format: Touch Tone Phone Menu
Fees: Varies depending on long distance charges
Phone: (301) 614-6898
Fax: 301-614-5268
Email: Tyler.B.Stevens at
Contact Address:
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Global Change Master Directory
City: Greenbelt
Province or State: MD
Postal Code: 20771
Country: USA
Creation and Review Dates
SERF Creation Date: 1999-10-08
SERF Last Revision Date: 2008-12-16
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Last Updated:  February 2017