This article comes from “Tide Bites”, the monthly newsletter of UW Friday Harbor Laboratories. “NOAA Tide and Weather at FHL” by Erin Dodge: read the full article on the FHL website.
I work for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Ocean Service (NOS) as a Physical Scientist for the Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS). We are part of the Pacific Operations Branch team based in Seattle, WA. We collect data from as far north as the Arctic Ocean, as far west as Guam and as far south as American Samoa, including coastal Alaska, the U.S. West Coast, Hawaii, and the Pacific Trust Territories. Products and services derived from CO-OPS data are used to: produce tide and current predictions and forecasts, support nautical charting and shoreline mapping, improve GPS accuracy, support coastal and emergency managers with storm surge warnings in hurricane and storm-prone coastal areas, support tsunami warnings, help scientists, coastal managers, and engineers understand sea level trends, forecast harmful algal blooms, provide critical decision making information to commercial shipping ports and pilots, provide useful information to coastal recreation users, and many other uses. Our Seattle team focuses on installing, maintaining, and repairing our oceanographic and meteorological observing systems within these areas. I am personally in charge of monitoring and maintaining the Washington and Oregon observing systems and stations.
The UW Friday Harbor Labs hosts a National Water Level Observation Network (NWLON) Station as well as a remote, stand-alone meteorological station. Established in 1932, this station continues to operate as part of a nationwide network of 210 long-term, continuously-operating water level stations throughout the U.S. and its territories that provide crucial data for government and commercial sector navigation, recreation, and coastal ecosystem management. The station has existed in its current location since 1989, on the pier at the FHL. The remote meteorological station was added on nearby Cantilever Point in 2008.