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.

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.