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Thawing ice allows re-deploying of Great Lakes data buoys

As Brutally Cold Winter Drags On, 80 Percent Of Lake Michigan Frozen
Posted at 8:01 PM, Apr 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-18 21:01:59-04

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- As ice thaws around the Great Lakes, technicians are preparing to re-deploy buoys that gather a wealth of information for use in research, water safety efforts and recreation.

About a dozen research institutions operate buoys in the lakes. Many of them provide data to the nonprofit Great Lakes Observing System, which makes it available online.

Its website offers real-time data from the buoys, which are returned to the water as soon as harbors and boat launches are ice-free.

It can help boaters and anglers avoid potentially dangerous conditions, while scientists get material that feeds computer models predicting weather and other lake characteristics.

Ed Verhamme of the Ann Arbor-based engineering firm LimnoTech says spring can be a particularly hazardous season, as conditions are often rough and change quickly.

AP-WF-04-18-19 2349GMT