Early spring is a time of big changes on the Chesapeake Bay. One of the key indicators of the transition from winter to spring is water temperatures, which can warm rapidly, thanks in part to the sun’s higher angle.
In recent weeks, the Annapolis CBIBS buoy has occasionally reported wind readings that do not appear to be reliable. For the most part, data from the buoy on wind speed and wind gusts are on target, but in high-wind scenarios, errant “spikes” have been observed. For example, a few readings from the winter storm that moved through the Chesapeake area on March 6 do not appear to be accurate.
Congratulations to Doug Wilson, who was recently presented the American Meteorological Society’s 2013 Francis W. Reichelderfer Award for his work from 2006 to 2012 that led to development and growth of the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System.
Temperatures around the Bay are dropping—but that doesn’t mean the CBIBS field team is hibernating. This week, the CBIBS team partnered with the U.S. Coast Guard to pull two buoys for the 2012-13 winter. The Susquehanna and Upper Potomac buoys are located in the northern reaches of the Bay and are in low-salinity waters, making them vulnerable to potential damage from ice.
On November 30, NOAA CBIBS technical staff joined the U.S. Coast Guard on board a buoy tender to completely replace the CBIBS Stingray Point buoy. NOAA, working with the Aids to Navigation Team from the U.S. Coast Guard’s Milford Haven, Virginia, station, pulled the existing Stingray Point buoy and deployed an identical buoy in its place.
Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy affected the Chesapeake Bay area October 28-30, and CBIBS buoys tracked conditions on the water throughout the storm. Continuous data was in high demand during as Sandy passed near the Chesapeake:
CBIBS water-quality monitors play an important role in tracking the health of the Chesapeake Bay. They observe water temperature, salinity, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll-a, and turbidity, and relay that data through the CBIBS buoys back to boaters, scientists, students, and others—every hour, every day.
The new Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail, officially launched on July 30, includes 560 miles on land and water in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., and follows the path of the British invasion during the War of 1812.