O Buoy!

Bill's Blog

The mid-Lake Michigan buoys are back in the water. They are usually put back in the water in May, but this year they were delayed (I’ll guess it was the coronavirus). Anyway, this mid-summer, some nifty records were set:

AT APPROXIMATELY 1 AM ON JULY 26TH THE AIR TEMPERATURE AT THE
SOUTHERN LAKE MICHIGAN MID LAKE BUOY CLIMBED TO 85.1F...BREAKING
THE ALL TIME RECORD WARM AIR TEMPERATURE EVER RECORDED AT THE
SOUTH BUOY. PREVIOUSLY...THE WARMEST AIR TEMPERATURE ON RECORD AT
THE SOUTH BUOY WAS 84.5F SET BACK ON AUGUST 18 1988.

IN ADDITION...AN ALL TIME RECORD WARM AIR TEMPERATURE FOR THE
MONTH OF JUNE WAS ALSO SET THIS YEAR BACK ON JUNE 28TH WHEN THE
TEMPERATURE CLIMBED TO 78.6F WHICH BROKE THE PREVIOUS RECORD
WARMEST AIR TEMPERATURE IN THE MONTH OF JUNE WHICH WAS 77.5
DEGREES BACK ON JUNE 18TH 1994.

WATER TEMPERATURES ARE ALSO RUNNING VERY ABOUT 5F TO 6F ABOVE
AVERAGE AND VERY NEAR DAILY RECORD WARM LEVELS.

RECORDS AT THE SOUTH BUOY DATE BACK APPROXIMATELY 30 YEARS TO
JULY 15 1981.

ALSO...THE WATER TEMPERATURE AT THE SOUTH BUOY ON LAKE MICHIGAN REACHED 80 DEGREES ON FRIDAY JULY 6TH...WHICH IS REMARKABLE WARMTH FOR THE LAKE TO BEGIN WITH...BUT UNPRECEDENTED FOR THIS EARLY IN THE SUMMER SEASON. MONTHLY AIR TEMPERATURES HAVE BEEN ABOVE NORMAL FOR NINE CONSECUTIVE MONTHS IN CHICAGO...AND THAT WARMTH HAS TRANSLATED INTO WARM WATER TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE LAKE. THE PROLONGED HEAT WAVE OF EARLY JULY OVER THE REGION FURTHER ESCALATED THE WARMING OF THE LAKE AS WATER TEMPERATURES ROSE 10 DEGREES BETWEEN JULY 1ST AND 6TH! THERE HAVE ONLY BEEN SIX PRIOR EPISODES SINCE 1981 WHERE THE SOUTH BUOY WATER TEMPERATURE HAS REACHED 80 DEGREES. THESE WERE: PERIOD NUMBER OF HOURS AT OR ABOVE 80 MAX WATER TEMPERATURE: --- AUG 88, AUG 95, SEP 96, AUG 01, LATE JUL-AUG 10, JUL 11

ON FRIDAY...THE BUOY RECORDED TWO HOURLY READINGS OF 80 DEGREES. THESE WERE THE EARLIEST 80 DEGREE WATER TEMPERATURES ON RECORD AT THIS SITE. THIS SURPASSES THE PREVIOUS RECORD OF JULY 21ST SET BOTH IN THE PAST TWO YEARS OF 2010 AND 2011. WHAT IS EQUALLY AS REMARKABLE IS HOW FAR ABOVE AVERAGE THE WATER TEMPERATURE IS. LOOKING BACK AT THE AVERAGE JULY 6TH WATER TEMPERATURE AT THAT BUOY SINCE 1981...THAT AVERAGE IS 63 DEGREES. THE AVERAGE ON JULY 6TH 2012 WAS 78 DEGREES...15 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL! 

FOR POINT OF REFERENCE...THE SOUTH BUOY IS LOCATED 43 NAUTICAL MILES EAST SOUTHEAST OF MILWAUKEE. THE WATER DEPTH IS 528 FEET. THE WATER TEMPERATURE IS RECORDED ABOUT 2 FT BELOW THE WATER SURFACE.

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