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Our regular Buoyweather subscriptions provide access to snapshots of historical data. You can access this from the main menu item "Historical Data". However, in addition to this we can also provide easy bulk access to THIRTEEN YEARS of time series files for an extra service fee. As this is custom work, it is not included in our low subscription rate.

The Model Data

Our thirteen years of hindcast data is from NOAA's WAVEWATCH III global model with a 1.0 X 1.25 degree grid resolution. It spans from February 1997 to October 2010. The following variables are provided at 3 hour intervals and can be retrieved for any model lat/long grid point. (aka Virtual Buoy):

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

For more information about the wavewatch model and its variables, please visit the NCEP Marine Modeling and Analysis Branch directly at:


How accurate is the data?

Very 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, this Wavewatch III Model data has proven to be very accurate over time and historically is the most accurate ocean model ever developed. Additionally, we aren't aware of any other publically available historical wave sets so that makes it the best there is!


Data Format

The data is provided as a comma delimited text format that can be easily opened with a spreadsheet for further analysis. Click here to download a sample text format or zipped file. The sample is a random point in the middle of the ocean.


The raw text files are US$450 for each point requested. Each additional point gets a 10% discount off the total for up to five. Any data purchase also includes access to the Buoyweather historical charting system.

Prices for the raw text:
1 @ $450
2 @ $900 - 5% = $855
3 @ $1,350 - 10% = $1,215
4 @ $1,800 - 15% = $1,530
5 @ $2,250 - 20% = $1,800
More just add $300 each


Credit card or paypal is the preferred payment method. Paypal is the easiest way.


The data will be sent as an email attachment and in most cases will be delivered within one business day. Depending on the time of order, you may get it same day.

Choosing Hindcast Points

The wavewatch model is on a fixed grid where latitudes are spaced at 1.0 degrees and longitudes at 1.25 degrees. The point you choose must be a valid grid point. The latitude needs to be rounded to the full degree. Longitudes are on the 1.25 interval starting at 0 so the point must be evenly divisible by 1.25 to be on the grid.

It is important to understand model data. Here are some key items to consider when choosing and analyzing points

- Inland seas are NOT covered by the global model. Examples: Mediterranean, Red Sea, Caspian etc.
- Points must be on the model grid and over water. Points on or too close to land will not have wave data. We will verify that your point is valid before charging you.
- The model is for deep water, offshore points only. Shallow water, local points, small islands, or any topography altering winds/waves are not resolved. The model provides outlying conditions only.
- Tropical storms are not resolved, so the full effects of hurricanes and typhoons may not be apparent. Models lack the resolution to fully estimate winds.

Below is a sample that shows the grid. Valid points are in the shaded area where the latitude and longitude grid lines cross. There is no wave data in the white areas.

A few sample points available circled

Available points in your area are where the lat/long lines cross.

To request data or if you have questions, you can contact us at consulting@buoyweather.com. Please provide the lat/long of the point you are interested in.

In addition, if you would us to analyze the data for you we offer special consulting arrangements where the data can be greatly enhanced to provide very detailed information by our specialized staff. Click here for more info on consulting.

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