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 f orecasting 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 written instructions here, or visit the AOML GDP ERDDAP Tutorial on for more step-by-step instructions and additional information.
  • 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.
  • 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