Q: What distinguishes this page from the main CO-OPS page?
A: The Lakes Online page provides users with immediate graphical and tabular water level and meteorological data from NOS water level stations located along the projected path of severe storms such as hurricanes.[top of page]
Q: How does a station get listed under "Water Level Stations Currently in Storm Surge Mode"?
A: The CO-OPS Continuous Operational Real-Time Monitoring System (CORMS) is a 24x7 program that monitors the operational status and data quality of all stations in both the national Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS) and the National Water Level Observation Network (NWLON). CORMS is manned by contract watchstanders on 12 hour shifts.
Once the National Hurricane Center identifies a tropical storm, CORMS watchstanders begin tracking the storm and reporting its progress to CO-OPS personnel. As soon as the storm approaches the coast, the watchstanders manually call the data collection platforms (DCPs) at stations within the projected track, and trigger the DCPs to transmit data every 18 minutes rather than the typical one or three hour intervals. Once triggered, a station becomes listed as currently active on the page. Stations may also become listed if water levels exceed predetermined upper and lower limits coded into the software (site specific). This is an automatic process rather than manual.[top of page]
Q: What do I do if the observed time on the plots appears to be old relative to the actual time?
A: Simply refresh the screen to update the data; this will provide the most recent data available.[top of page]
Q: If I have questions on the data presented, or notice something that seems to be in error, whom do I contact?
A: Contact CORMS operations at 301-713-2540, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The watchstander will address your question or refer you to another person in CO-OPS.[top of page]
Q: What is the purpose of the "States Map", "Station List" and "Historical Data Retrieval" hot keys?
A: These links are provided to allow the user to conveniently locate and view both present and historical data from any of the active stations in the National Water Level Observation Network, not merely the stations in storm surge mode.[top of page]
Q: What is a low water condition?
A: A low water condition in the Great Lakes region occurs when the level of water within a lake, river or body of water falls below Low Water Datum as referenced to the International Great Lakes Datum 1985 for at least an hour. It can be caused by a number of things, such as a storm event but this condition occurs mostly because of a change in climate, such as an extended period of low precipitation in the region.[top of page]