Real Time Wave Watch


Weather and water conditions on Lake Superior can change quickly

To stay safe, you need real time, location-specific wind and wave information at your fingertips, whether you’re sailing around the islands, kayaking the sea caves or running up the West channel to Bayfield in a power boat.

The Water Information for a Safe Coast Watch (WISC-Watch) system of solar-powered buoys provides real-time and historical information to help you plan your next adventure. Five buoys, placed strategically in the National Lakeshore, will begin reporting data in June, 2024.

WISC-Watch was developed by University of Wisconsin researchers with support from the National Park Service and other partners. To support this vital service into the future, we’ve launched the Wave Watch project.

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Live buoy data coming soon

Mainland Sea Caves

Mainland Caves Buoy Location

Sand Island

Sand Island buoy location

Devils Island

Devils Island Buoy Location

Stockton Island

Stockton Island buoy location - Presque Isle Point

Long Island

Long Island buoy location
Anatomy of a wave graphic showing parts of a wave, crest, trough and direction - from NOAA

Data Definitions

Wave Height (Hgt.) is the vertical distance from the wave trough to the wave crest. Values are the average of the top 10% of measured wave heights over 30 minutes. Reported values are intentionally biased towards the largest measured waves.

Wave Period (Per.) or Frequency is the average time between wave crests in seconds.

Wave Direction (Dir.) is the direction waves are coming from.

WISC Watch Disclaimer: Care should be taken when using these products as they are experimental. Timely delivery of data and products from the University of Wisconsin-Madison server through the Internet is not guaranteed. Send questions or comments to: OR

You can help make it happen!

In order to return the WISC-Watch buoys to the water and improve safety within the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Friends of the Apostle Islands is currently raising money to fund the program through 2025. We need your investment in this important safety initiative.

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