Text a Lake Erie buoy to get wind, water info

June 22, 2024
Tom Jackson
The Courier

Tom Jackson


The Courier

HURON — You use your phone to text friends and relatives to find out what’s going on.

Why not text a smart buoy, sitting in the lake off the city of Huron, to find out conditions in Lake Erie?

The Cleveland Water Alliance has deployed 13 smart buoys along Ohio’s Lake Erie coast, including one in the Toledo area and others as far east as Ashtabula, and Ohioans who are curious may text each of them to get real time information.

All texts to the smart buoys should be sent to 866-218-9973‬. The text should consist of a five-digit number that the Cleveland Water Alliance uses to ID the buoys, which are as follows:

• Toledo — 45165

• Port Clinton — 45202

• Kelleys Island — 45201

• Huron — 45203

• Lorain area — 45204

• Cleveland west — 45196, 45176, 45205

• Cleveland east — 45197, 45206

• Cleveland further offshore — 45164

• Painesville — 45207

• Ashtabula — 45208.

For example, a text of 45203 sent to 866-218-9973‬ at 6:05 p.m. Wednesday evening got a reply that the Huron buoy had measured a northeast wind of 9.7 knots. The air temperature was about 79 degrees, and the water temperature was about 75 degrees. Waves were about 0.7 feet. The Port Clinton and Kelleys Island buoys provided a reply to an inquiry as well.

An interactive map is posted at clevelandwateralliance.org/smart-lake-erie-watershed-initiative. Each buoy is displayed, and clicking on the buoy yields a set of information.

The Cleveland Water Alliance deploys the buoys in the warm weather months, putting them into storage during the winter. The group is now in its fourth year of putting the smart buoys into Lake Erie.

Various groups use the information from the buoys. For example, the National Weather Service uses the wave, wind, air temperature and water temperature information from the buoys to develop the models in its forecasts and to issue small craft advisory warnings.

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