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Visiting Your Sanctuary

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Wind, Waves, Weather and More

Before you head to Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, get the most up-to-date information available about weather, sea state, and water conditions.

Weather Forecast Links

Latest Marine Forecast for Gulf of Mexico. Offshore forecast, including Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (Note: you may need to scroll down the page to see FGBNMS information).

Latest Marine Forecast for coastal waters from High Island to Matagorda ship channel, out to 60 nautical miles, including Galveston and Matagorda Bays.

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Current Sanctuary Conditions

You can get an idea of current sanctuary conditions using our Ocean Conditions Dashboard.

This dashboard presents current conditions* from available satellite datasets and is accessed through ERDDAP. Data is updated approximately every hour, however no data is available when clouds obstruct the satellite's view.

*This data is provided as general information and is not intended for navigational purposes. 

A copy of the Ocean Conditions dashboard page showing crossed out data for temperature, wave height, salinity, current speed, turbidity, and wind speed at Stetson Bank
Click on this image or the link above to access the live Ocean Conditions Dashboard. (This image is just a representation of the actual dashboard and does not contain current information.)

Data Buoy Links

Map showing locations of various data buoys near the sanctuary
Data buoys near the sanctuary. Click on the image for a larger view. Credit: FGBNMS

There are several different types of buoys in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico that can provide information about on-site conditions near the sanctuary. The types of data collected by the buoys include current direction and speed, wind direction and speed, wave height and period, atmospheric pressure, air temperature and water temperature.

  • The National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) is part of NOAA's National Weather Service. NDBC designs, develops, operates, and maintains a network of data collecting buoys and coastal stations.
Large cone shaped buoy, rounded on the bottom.

          Photo Credit: GERG

Data recording buoy floating on a smooth sea

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Specific Buoys of Interest to Sanctuary Visitors

NDBC Station 42019 is located approximately 67 miles west of Stetson Bank. Although it is not the nearest NDBC buoy to East and West Flower Garden Banks, it is the one with the most similar conditions due to its location on the continental shelf.

NDBC Station 42046 is the NDBC summary of data from TABS Buoy N. For more detailed data and graphics from the buoy, go to TABS Buoy N. This buoy is located to the west of West Flower Garden Bank, but is not currently collecting data. Historical data is available through 2017.

NDBC Station 42047 is the NDBC summary of data from TABS Buoy V. For more detailed data and graphs from the buoy, go to TABS Buoy V. This buoy is located within the sanctuary boundaries at East Flower Garden Bank, but is not currently collecting data. Historical data is available through 2019.

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weather report observations cool stuff get wet

Sea spout stretching from a dark cloud down to the sea surface and churning up a section of water.  Looks like a very narrow tornado.
National Marine Sanctuary logo - a stylized whale tail above waves