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Observing

Observing

Observing helps understanding of environmental conditions, both right now and long term, enabling informed decisions.

EXPLORE YOUR OBSERVING SYSTEM

The observing system stretches from sensors on the lakefloor to satellites in orbit. 

Each observing platform is loaded with a custom set of sensors that monitor the water and air and send that data to the rest of the system, like nerves in the body.  

Numerical models can generate forecasts for many water and air characteristics to help observers to understand the environment over large areas.

Buoy in a foggy lake

Buoys

Glider being adjusted on a ship

Uncrewed Systems

A test installation of a high frequency radar unit in the Straights of Mackinac

High-Frequency Radar

Lake Michigan Huron near Straits of Mackinac Currents LMHOFS

Models

Spotter buoy floating in lake

Observing or “obs” helps us to:

  • Forecast dangerous lake events like rip currents
  • Protect drinking water supplies from harmful algal blooms
  • Help find the best places to fish, sail, or swim
  • Monitor high lake levels and other effects of climate change 

Observing information comes in all shapes and sizes to inform life on the lakes.

Data sources include:

buoy icon

Buoys and
Moorings

shore based icon

Shore-based
Systems

uncrewed vessel icon

Uncrewed
Systems

Vessel 3-01

Vessels of
Opportunity

High Frequency radar icon

High-Frequency
Radar

satellite icon

Satellites

Scientific model icon

Scientific
Models

U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System Certified Regional Association

Real-time observing data shared via GLOS is IOOS Certified, which ensures that it is high quality and adheres to United States federal standards. 

GLOS