June 3 Bridgetown Barbados: Two buoys have been placed in Barbados
territorail waters by the United States Coast Guards Cutter (USCGC) OAK, in an attempt to gather early weather information
more efficiently, so that storms and hurricanes can be tracked in a more effective manner.
OAK Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Tim Wendt and Operations
Officer, Lieutenant Whitney Houcck said these two buoys were
placed in the Atlantic Ocean under orders and funding of the US Congress, who are working in collaboration with the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The US Congress believes that advanced warning is of the utmost
importance in the wake of the four major hurricanes, which hit the south coast of Florida last hurricane season.
Wendt noted that of the 273 buoys which his vessel were responsible
for throughout the region, the newest buoy was the furthest away from the south east US that NOAA has deployed [a] weather
buoy. Lt. Wendt also noted that even though the buoys were stagnant, they would still be able to provide useful information
on any storms passing in their general vicinity. In fact, storms passing directly over the buoys would significantly reduce
the need forHurricane Hunters to fly into the eyes of such storms.
These two weather buoys monitor wind direction; speed and gust;
wave height; dominant wave period and average period; atmospheric pressure; pressure tendency; air temperature; water temperature;
dew point and heat index.
The position of the buoys and the accessibility of the data makes
them a useful tool for Barbados and the region for this years potentially destructive hurricane season.