Flathead Lake has two mid-lake automated buoys

by Ed Berry

Flathead Lake has two mid-lake automated buoys, installed on August 10, 2011. One is west of Yellow Bay and the other west of Woods Bay, along the deep trench in the middle of the lake.

The buoys come courtesy of a National Science Foundation grant to The Flathead Lake Biological Station (FLBS) of The University of Montana.

Meteorological instruments on each buoy measure 15-minute averages of:

  • wind speed
  • wind direction
  • barometric pressure
  • air temperature
  • solar radiation
  • humidity.

Water sensors travel 4 times per day on a cable from the buoy to the bottom of the lake to measure every 25 centimeters (or 10 inches):

  • water temperature
  • dissolved oxygen
  • conductivity
  • algal pigments
  • light
  • dissolved organic matter

The buoys transmit their data via satellite to FLBS and FLBS makes the data available to the public in near real-time on the FLBS website.

The meteorological and water data will be very valuable to public and private groups, lake sportsmen, and others. The data will assist forecasting meteorological, boating and fishing conditions.

*** As a Certified Consulting Meteorologist of the American Meteorological Society, I have one more request: that all the data history be downloadable in a standard database format. The value of the historical data far exceeds the value of real-time data because historical data allow the construction and testing of hypotheses for forecasting future data.

WARNING: FLBS requests boaters stay at least 50 yards away from the buoys to not harm the data or the sensitive equipment. And if you do mess around near the buoys, their video surveillance will put you on candid camera. (If you see others messing around with the buoys, FLBS requests you call them at 406-982-3301.)

Other lake data is available at the YB Hill webcam on the east shore of Flathead Lake. A real-time data summary is available at the bottom of the FLBS page.

While on this FLBS page, you may choose to ignore (as I do) the University of Montana’s obligatory United Nations Agenda 21 promotion of Climate Change, River Ecosystems, Systems Ecology and the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem.

Not that there is anything wrong with ecology per se, but the “in your face” push about “climate change” is, in my opinion, a promotion of the UN Agenda 21″earth worship” religion, not scientific fact.

Like, Why can we not just do science without all the propaganda and brainwashing?

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