Currently, there are six CBIBS buoys deployed in the Chesapeake Bay, reporting real-time weather, wave, current, and water-quality data via www.buoybay.noaa.gov, mobile apps, and the toll-free 877-BUOY-BAY phone number.
Coming this spring: New-style CBIBS buoys in several current CBIBS locations!
While the original yellow buoys have served CBIBS well, several of them have been in use since 2007 and are getting a bit tired. Replacement buoys were recently delivered to the CBIBS warehouse so that the CBIBS technical team can begin assembling and testing them.
With an impressive winter storm forecast to move up the East Coast--including blizzard and winter storm warnings for the southern part of the Chesapeake Bay--over the next 36 hours or so, the CBIBS team is working to make sure delicate parts of the buoys stay safe.
Much of the Chesapeake region is facing close to a week of air temperatures below 32 degrees. Those sustained cold air temperatures are causing water temperatures to tumble, too. While the freezing point of fresh water is 32 degrees, the point at which water in the Chesapeake Bay will freeze can vary due to salinity levels.
Each winter, to keep the most vulnerable buoys safe from potential ice damage, the CBIBS team works with partners to pull the Susquehanna, Patapsco, Annapolis, and Upper Potomac buoys. Sensors can be damaged by ice, and ice floes can move buoys significant distances.
As waters in the northern part of the Chesapeake Bay drop to near freezing temperatures, the CBIBS field team--working with their partners at the U.S. Coast Guard and University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science--makes sure buoys stay save over the winter. For the four northernost buoys, this means they are pulled from the water to protect their sensors and hulls.