The federal government maintains thousands of weather observing stations across the country. Most of these are on land. But some observing sites are afloat on large lakes, bays, and in the waters near our coasts.

Here's a map of the mid-Atlantic states and adjacent waters. The red triangles indicate places where weather instrumentation is mounted on lighthouses, offshore platforms, capes and beaches. The blue squares show the locations of stationary buoys equipped with weather instruments. Here's a picture of one of those buoys - this one is stationed about 25 miles southeast of Cape May NJ, at the entrance to Delaware Bay.

With so little weather data available from out over the water, information from these coastal weather observing sites is extremely valuable, particularly when nor'easters and hurricanes threaten the East Coast.

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