Deep Water Weather Buoy Launched

 Marine Data Buoy M6 being launched off the west coast of Ireland earlier this weekThe Marine Institute has just launched the sixth weather buoy in its offshore network from the RV Celtic Explorer, 300 km west of the existing buoy M1, west of the Aran Islands.   

This is the first time the Irish Weather Buoy Network has deployed a buoy this far out in the Atlantic, in a depth of approximately 3000 metres of water, using a unique combination of chain and rope with a 3 ton weight to anchor it to the seabed.

The Marine Institute has worked with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in America on the mooring and is developing its own expertise in offshore mooring design for operational oceanography and meteorology. 

 The Irish Weather Buoy Network is a collaboration between the Marine Institute, the UK Meteorological Office (UKMO), the Department of Transport and Met Eireann.   Crucial observations of wind (direction, speed & gusts) air and sea-surface temperature, wave height and period, and atmospheric pressure will be updated every hour from the buoy and will provide improved weather forecasts leading to greater safety at sea for mariners.

Data will be available from Wednesday 27th September on 

 The M6 weather buoy, when combined with other existing buoys run by the UKMO even further out into the North Atlantic, will provide information on approaching weather systems along with real-time information to increase the accuracy of forecasts. 

The buoy will also monitor ocean temperature and salinity to a high degree of precision.  This information will allow climatic baselines to be established for this location in the North Atlantic and also for ground truthing of oceanographic models.   The M6 weather buoy has been deployed in support of the E-SURFMAR project. 

 This project consists of fifteen EUMETNET (The Network of European Meteorological Services) members with Met Eireann being the principal Irish contributor.  Funding of the Irish Weather Buoy Project is provided by the  Department of Transport, the E-SURFMAR project and Met Eireann.   

For Further information contact   Marine Institute Communications:  

John Joyce Phone: 01 476 6500 Mobile: 087 2250871 Email:

Notes to Editor:

The initial E-SURFMAR aims were to:

  • provide design principles for co-coordinating the future development of the surface-marine observational structure for voluntary observing ships, moored and drifting buoys in order to meet EUCOS requirements;
  • develop appropriate funding mechanisms and provide suitable management to ensure that programme objectives are met in an efficient and timely manner;
  • optimise surface-marine observations from voluntary observing ships, moored and drifting buoys taking full account of EUCOS observational requirements in data-sensitive areas;
  • maximise the efficiency of operating voluntary observing ships, moored and drifting buoys for EUMETNET/EUCOS participants by reducing duplication and implementing requirements in the most cost-efficient manner;
  • develop proposals for the future integration of the existing voluntary observing fleets and buoy networks operated by EUMETNET Member countries.