Duluth launches buoy to better forecast rip current conditions

Duluth leaders are looking to better forecast rip current conditions, and have launched a water safety buoy off Park Point to do so.

The Fire Department deployed the buoy about 1,000 meters off the shore. It reports data to the Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS), and measures waves, wind, water temperature, and more. The information allows the National Weather Service (NWS) to better predict the potential for rip currents and other unsafe water conditions.

“This buoy allows Duluth Fire to really enhance our beach flag program by measuring the waves, water turbidity, and temperature, which gives the NWS forecast information more accurately and condition changes as quickly as they come,” said Assistant Fire Chief Brent Consie.

The buoy was purchased with a tourism tax allocation secured by Duluth Parks and Recreation to improve beach-goer safety.

“This buoy is a prime example of the enhanced public safety and of the creativity that can come from the collaborative character of our staff in the cross-departmental work they do every day,” said Mayor Emily Larson.

Buoy data can be found here, and beach-goers can view up-to-the-minute beach and water conditions before heading out here.