Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation "Nothing great is easy", Captain Matthew Webb

Sandettie Buoy Data Notes 

Notes on Sandettie Lightship Buoy data 

  • Sandette Lightship Buoy is owned and operated by the UK Met Office. Its position is 51.103 N 1.800 E (51°6'9" N 1°48'0" E) - roughly due North from Calais and due East of Dover.
  • The Sandettie Lightship information is considered essential data within the context of World Meteorological Organization Resolution 40. Met Office confirmed that it is freely available to publish under the terms of the Open Government Licence for Public Sector Information. Please see:
  • This automated buoy provides an hourly feed of various weather and sea parameters. The data feed is provided in WMO GTS code forms e.g. "BBXX 62304 19144 99511 10018 46/98 /3102 10140 20061 40094 57002 22200 00150 10701 70005". This string of characters carries full metereological information collected by the station. For interpretation of GTS codes see
  • Data quailty: it is easy to see that there are glitches in the way station sensors work or the way they report the measurements. We are planning to clean the records in the near future, but for now we rely on readers' intelligence in interpreting the feeds. We all know North Sea does not freeze in one hour and 100 mph winds in the middle of the summer are very unlikely!
  • Because Sandettie station is a buoy, the air temperature gauge is very near the sea surface. It means that the sea will greatly moderate the air temperature reading. This is the main reason for significant differences when comparing to e.g. Dover or Calais air temperatures. Sandettie readings will always be much closer to the sea temperature, especially on very cold or very warm days.

Sandettie Lightship Observations

8am, 28th March 2024

Water: 49.3 °F (9.6 °C)

Air: 47.5 °F (8.6 °C)

Wind Speed: 26.0 kn (48.2 km/h)

Wind Direction: SW (220°)

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