Regional and National Groups
Regional information may be added to ship reports
following a 333 indicator group, and National coded
information may be added following a 555 indicator
group. The 444 indicator group is NEVER used with
ship reports. Although allowable, U.S. Navy vessels do
not normally include any regional or national
information in transmitted ship synoptic reports.
MOORED BUOY REPORTS
Moored meteorological/oceanographic (METOC)
buoys are used throughout the world, primarily in areas
critical to ship navigation. In the United States coastal
waters, meteorological buoys are maintained by NOAA
in the near coastal waters off major sea ports and
harbors on the West Coast, East Coast, and Gulf Coast.
Additional meteorological buoys are maintained in a
network throughout the Gulf of Mexico, and in selected
locations well off the East and West Coasts.
All moored buoys use the Synoptic code to report
every 3 hours. They report Synoptic Code Section 0,
Identification Data, and, depending on the sensors they
contain, selected groups from Sections 1, 2, 3, and 5.
The primary difference is in code Section
0, Identification Data. While the reports from buoys
well off the coast use the ship Synoptic code "Section 0"
with three-letter/number call signs and a latitude and
longitude, the coastal buoys and Gulf of Mexico buoys
use the land Synoptic code "Section 0" format with the
station identification given in block (block 99) and
station number, or a buoy number (such as "DB273"
without latitude and longitude groups. These stations
may be cross-referenced to latitude and longitude, as
may any station referenced by block/station number by
using the Master Weather Station Catalog, available
via the Bulletin Board System (BBS).
What is the message type identifier for the
shipboard Synoptic code?
If a ship was located at 34.10N and 020.16E,
how should this be encoded on a ship synoptic
What does the indicator group 222 of the ship
Synoptic code signify?
How should a ship speed made good of 12 knots
with a displacement of 120" be encoded for
If sea waves had a period of 5 seconds and a
height of 4 feet, what should be encoded for
If the primary swell-wave direction is 040° with
a height of 6 feet and a period of 8 seconds, and
the secondary swell-wave direction is 170° with
a height of 3 feet and a period of 12 seconds, how
should this be encoded?
If ice accretion from ocean spray is occurring at
a rapid rate, and 1 centimeter has already
accumulated, what should be encoded for the
What organization is responsible for
maintaining METOC buoys off the coast of the
The codes discussed in this section are used to
disseminate surface weather observations. The U.S.
METAR/SPECI code and the international
METAR/SPECI codes are primarily used to support
aviation operations. The international Synoptic codes
are used for general meteorological applications.
Information from meteorological and oceanographic
(METOC) buoys are also used to augment land and ship