The Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS) Boaters' Forecast Tool provides recreational boaters information on water currents, winds, waves, and water depths to help them have a better boating day. The easy to use, web-based format was customized to address information needs specific to boaters in the Great Lakes, including access to NOAA forecasts and information on marina and boat launch locations and facilities.
Through a series of in-person and web-delivered meetings, GMRI’s Ocean Data Products group worked with GLOS staff to determine the information needs of boaters in the region, and how best to present the complex modeling data that was available for the Great Lakes in a user-friendly format for the boating community.
The resulting tool provides a map-based visualization of forecast data for winds, temperature, wave height, and water level for each of the Great Lakes and waterways. Users can click anywhere on the map to get forecast values and graphs of 12-hour trends in the to see if conditions are ramping up or settling down at that location. They can also register with the site and set custom alerts so to be notified by text message or email when conditions are predicted that will exceed or fall below expected threshold at their predetermined location.