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Handbook No. 1
See recent photos from NDBC weather buoy 42039 in the Gulf of Mexico.
How are the station ID numbers created?
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) assigns a 5-character alpha-numeric station identifier to all weather observation stations, including moored buoys, drifting buoys, and C-Man. Generally, these IDs are location specific, except for drifting buoys which retain their identifier assigned by deployment location. Before 1977, however, the moored buoy IDs were of the following form: EB-## (e.g., EB-4, EB-12), which bore no relation to its location. In the data inventory summary, EB IDs are listed under the appropriate station ID, if applicable.
The WMO station identification system is very simple. Identifiers are in the form of "&&###" where "&&" represents a WMO oceanic or continental region and ### denotes a specific location (e.g., 46042, 41003). With respect to regions, 32 denotes stations in the Pacific off the coast of South America, 41 -- the Atlantic off of the southeast U.S. coast, 44 -- the Atlantic Ocean north of North Carolina, 42 -- the Gulf of Mexico, 45 -- the Great Lakes, 46 -- the U.S. coastal Pacific Ocean, 51 -- the Hawaiian Islands, 52 -- Guam.
Station identifiers for C-MAN sites in the U.S. are determined through a national system. It is alphanumeric with the format: AAAS#. "S#" is the first alphabetic letter for the state where the C-MAN site is located followed by the number of its location in alphabetized order of that state in ascending sequence (L1 -- Louisiana, N6 -- New York, N7 -- North Carolina). "AAA" is composed of alphabetic letters and is an abbreviation of the location. As an example, Grand Isle, LA is represented by GDIL1, Lake Worth, FL -- LKWF1, and Tatoosh Island, WA -- TTIW1.
C-MAN stations that are a part of the former WESTPAC-AMOS program are identified using the WMO system, since WESTPAC data were transmitted internationally. WESTPAC stations were identified by 91###, where ### is the number assigned to the specific location.