The weather buoy 42012 just of the coast of Alabama is very close to the eye of hurricane Sally this morning. According to the NHC at 09 UTC, Sally was centred at 30.1 north and 87.7 west with a minimum central pressure of 965 hPa and moving N’NE at 3 knots.
I know historically that the NWS don’t like SYNOP observations, and for some strange reason best known to themselves prefer METARs, but I can never quite understand why they don’t just install the same AWS systems they use on their weather buoys to bolster up and fill all the holes in their SYNOP network.
The wind direction at weather buoy 42012 has gradually veered through the morning as hurricane Sally moved northward just to the west. The eye may have crossed overhead but it’s impossible to say with just hourly observations. The buoy reported two hours with a mean speed (two minute mean?) of 64 knots which just make the Beaufort hurricane force 12 category, and a gust of 95 knots at 12 UTC if my parsing of the SYNOP code is correct.
It looks like Sally will make landfall shortly as a category 2 hurricane.