North Sea Weather conditions

November 18, 2015
Proven in service: Airbus

Buoyweather provides easy bulk access to historical wind and ocean data from NOAA's WAVEWATCH III global wave model. As this is custom work, it is not included in our low subscription rate.

This data has application for a wide variety of marine-related activities. It is most commonly used to determine the climatological sea state of certain locations where offshore operations will be performed. It can also be used to determine the most active/inactive time periods at coastal locations.

Example Clients

1. Coastal engineers who want to research the long term wave climate at a location such as a harbor or an offshore platform.

2. Shipping companies in their research of long term schedules versus wind and wave conditions along their shipping routes.

3. Oceanographers and marine biology scientists who want to study waves, and even their possible long term affects of wave actions on coral reefs or other structures.

4. Surf contest organizers who want to schedule their multi million dollar events during the periods of the best optimum surfing conditions for specific locations.

5. Natural energy companies looking for the most optimum locations to develop wave farms and extract ocean wave energy.

If you have a project or application that requires additional analysis beyond that from our historical data, please see our Custom Weather Consulting page.


The 34 year dataset is available globally and contains data at 3 hr intervals from Jan. 1979 to Feb. 2013. As newer data becomes available, we will update the dataset to include more recent months. The spatial resolution of the global gridded dataset (the distance between available model grid points) is 0.5 x 0.5 degrees in latitude and longitude. There are nested sub-domains within this global model which contain data at higher spatial resolutions of 1/6 and 1/15 degree in latitude and longitude - the areas covered by these nested grids include the Eastern and Western United States (including Hawaii and Puerto Rico), the Western Indian Ocean, Australia, various islands in the South Pacific Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, North Sea, Red Sea, Persian Gulf, Sea of Cortez, Black Sea, and the Baltic Sea. NOTE: Some of the higher resolution data is only available up until 2009. Contact us with your location and we will assist in determining the best available dataset for you.

The following variables are available in the above dataset:

WDIR - Wind direction (degrees, meteorological convention)
WIND - Wind speed 10m (m/s)
HTSGW - Significant wave height (m)
DIRPW - Peak wave direction (degrees, meteorological convention)
PERPW - Peak wave period (s)

For more information about the WAVEWATCH III model and its variables, please visit the NCEP Marine Modeling and Analysis Branch.

Accuracy of Historical Data

Our data is extremely accurate, but remember, this is modeled data and not actual "observed" data, so there will always be some variations in the accuracy. That being said, the WAVEWATCH III model data has proven to be very accurate over time and is historically the most accurate global ocean model ever developed.

Historical Data Format

The data is provided in an excel spreadsheet and in comma delimited text format. You can download a sample text file here. The sample is a random Virtual Buoy in the middle of the ocean.


We also offer special consulting for projects that need more detailed analysis and modeling of present or historical ocean/weather data. For an example report/analysis prepared by Buoyweather, click here - Historical Weather Report. Also, to read more about specialized consulting provided by our team, click here - Custom Consulting.

Payment & Delivery

The standard method of payment is via PayPal in which we accept credit cards. In the event a credit card cannot be used, payment can be made via bank wire transfer on request. The data files will be sent via email or a link and in most cases will be delivered within one business day - orders placed early in the day may be filled the same day.

Choosing Historical Ocean Data Points

The historical WAVEWATCH III model data is on a variably spaced grid where higher resolution data is available in different areas of the world - outlined above. Contact us with the location you need and we can determine the closest valid grid point for you and also give suggestions where necessary.

Things to consider when choosing and analyzing points

  • Points must be on the model grid and over water. We will verify that your point is valid before charging you. NOTE: The below map is valid only for the global 0.5 x 0.5 degree dataset. As previously mentioned, higher spatial resolution data is available in various parts of the world - contact us with the point of interest and we will suggest the best option for you.
  • Tropical Cyclones may not be fully resolved depending on the event, so the full effects of tropical storms, hurricanes, and typhoons may not be apparent. Global scale models often lack the resolution to fully estimate winds around tropical systems.
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