Real Time Drifter Graphs and Data


Real time drifter data and graphs are distributed on the Global Telecommunication System (GTS) for improved weather and climate forecasting and ocean state estimation. On this page, we provide instructions on how to obtain these GTS data streams using NOAA's Observing System Monitoring Center (OSMC).


To make a graph or get data from a particular drifter, you will need its World Meteorological Organization (WMO) identification number, which is different from the ID used in our quality-controlled data base. If you do not know the WMO # of your desired buoy, please reference the WMO/ID conversion file.

Plot Drifter Trajectories


  • If targeting a specific drifter, use its WMO number to generate a plot from the OSMC web site. See Instructions.
  • To plot and view recent drifter data (up to 15 days), use the WMO number and select the desired parameter from the MeteoFrance QC Tools dropdown menu.
  • To plot multiple drifters, use WMO numbers to generate a graph from the OSMC ERDDAP web site. See Instructions.
  • To plot all drifters within a particular region, on the OSMC web page, follow these instructions.
  • You can also visualize drifter data, altimetry, sea surface temperatures, and other real time GTS data from the last 10 days at AOML's CoastWatch/OceanWatch web page. See Instructions.

Download Data