How it Works

What does a NOAA weather buoy 3000 miles away in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean have to do with snow in Utah, Colorado & Wyoming? Good question! Since the dawn of time, humans have been trying to plan their powder days, a futile feat… until now. Is it magic? Is it science? Is it dumb luck? The answer may be yes to all of the above, but more than anything, the Powderbuoy is all about a positive vibration and energy that connects soul riders around the world.

““Yeahbuuuuooooyyyyyy””

- William Jonathan Drayton Jr.

It All Starts With the Buoy

Deep in the North Pacific, a lonely NOAA buoy floats, diligently collecting all sorts of weather data. No friends on a powder day? This lonely buoy may think its only friends are the passing birds who may stop by for a few; little does the buoy know how much happiness and joy it brings to people around the world on powder days.

Weather Prediction

Tracking buoys is nothing new; surfers have followed buoys since Gary Busey was dropping in on Big Wednesday to find out when swells are going to hit specific breaks. The Powderbuoy uses these same NOAA buoys in Hawaii and tracks the same energy that surfers ride in waves in Hawaii to forecast snow that we ride in our mountains. When the buoy pops, two weeks later you’re going to want to clear your calendar.

Plan Your Powder Flu

Don’t let those sick days go to waste, plan your flu and go get you some! That TPS report can wait for another day, you’ve got powder to ski. Yeahbuoy!

Go to the Buoy Dashboard

From the Blog

Powderbuoy Pilsner

Proceeds from Powderbuoy Pilsner sales go to the Utah Avalanche Center (Provided by Park City [...]

What is a Buoypop 101

In 2004 a friend of mine who lived part of the year in Hawaii and [...]

How do I interpret the plume data (Blue line graph)?

The Atmospheric Sciences Department at the University of Utah is one of the best, if [...]

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From Instagram

Looks like that’s all she wrote for regular season, 621”! Pretty amazing after last year and considering the slow start. Back in December, who would have thought we’d stack such a great season? Then again, seasons aren’t stacked in inches, rather in memories, moments of laughter, face shots, untracked lines, pushing yourself a little further than you thought you could, sharing your love of skiing with your kids, powder days with friends (old and new), maybe an apres beer, and just generally being out in the magic of the mountains. What are some of your highlights? What are the things that make a season for you? Genuinely curious. #yeahbuoy

Looks like that’s all she wrote for regular season, 621”! Pretty amazing after last year and considering the slow start. Back in December, who would have thought we’d stack such a great season? Then again, seasons aren’t stacked in inches, rather in memories, moments of laughter, face shots, untracked lines, pushing yourself a little further than you thought you could, sharing your love of skiing with your kids, powder days with friends (old and new), maybe an apres beer, and just generally being out in the magic of the mountains. What are some of your highlights? What are the things that make a season for you? Genuinely curious. #yeahbuoy ...

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The tradition continues, happy tax day pow day! #Yeahbuoy

The tradition continues, happy tax day pow day! #Yeahbuoy ...

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15th coming into view, still a little sloppy, 0-40” ,but that should tighten up as we get into the weekend. What a great weekend of April skiing! My cup is not half empty, not half full, just plain ol full. Hope you got to enjoy. #yeahbuoy

15th coming into view, still a little sloppy, 0-40” ,but that should tighten up as we get into the weekend. What a great weekend of April skiing! My cup is not half empty, not half full, just plain ol full. Hope you got to enjoy. #yeahbuoy ...

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So do you remember that buoy pop from four days ago? Well, she’s still going & looks like it might be a five or six day storm starting around the 15th keeping the tax day pow day tradition alive. It ain’t over till it’s over. There’s one more storm floating out there in the middle of the Pacific heading towards Hawaii. Looks like it might pop on the 14th or 15th which would drop a storm around the 26th or 27th. #yeahbuoy

So do you remember that buoy pop from four days ago? Well, she’s still going & looks like it might be a five or six day storm starting around the 15th keeping the tax day pow day tradition alive. It ain’t over till it’s over. There’s one more storm floating out there in the middle of the Pacific heading towards Hawaii. Looks like it might pop on the 14th or 15th which would drop a storm around the 26th or 27th. #yeahbuoy ...

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Looks like there may be another buoypop on the horizon for the the 13th/14th, so storm here around the 25th/26th, we’ll see what temps are doing. I know some are ready for spring, don’t shoot the messenger. #yeahbuoy

Looks like there may be another buoypop on the horizon for the the 13th/14th, so storm here around the 25th/26th, we’ll see what temps are doing. I know some are ready for spring, don’t shoot the messenger. #yeahbuoy ...

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The wheel is turning and you can slow down you can’t let go and you can’t hold on, you can’t go back and you can’t stand still of the thunder don’t get you then the lightning will. This looks like a multi-day storm, of course I’ll be out of town, but looks like a banger assuming temps are cold enough. #yeahbuoy

The wheel is turning and you can slow down you can’t let go and you can’t hold on, you can’t go back and you can’t stand still of the thunder don’t get you then the lightning will. This looks like a multi-day storm, of course I’ll be out of town, but looks like a banger assuming temps are cold enough. #yeahbuoy ...

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This guy popped sooner than I thought, tax day pow day tradition continues, April 15th (not 18th, or maybe if it sticks around for a few days). Btw, I’m not sure I had the right season end snow totals, found it on freethepowder.com, but seems like the numbers were low, if anyone has a better source I’m interested. Also, this is just me doing powderbuoy sharing the stuff I look at to try and schedule my life, don’t have a research team or any employees other than 3 labs who help out occasionally. Not as many snow lab reports this year, but they’ll be back, it’s been a busy year with non-powderbuoy life, need to get back into better balance, but that’s ok, still been a great season.  #yeahbuoy

This guy popped sooner than I thought, tax day pow day tradition continues, April 15th (not 18th, or maybe if it sticks around for a few days). Btw, I’m not sure I had the right season end snow totals, found it on freethepowder.com, but seems like the numbers were low, if anyone has a better source I’m interested. Also, this is just me doing powderbuoy sharing the stuff I look at to try and schedule my life, don’t have a research team or any employees other than 3 labs who help out occasionally. Not as many snow lab reports this year, but they’ll be back, it’s been a busy year with non-powderbuoy life, need to get back into better balance, but that’s ok, still been a great season. #yeahbuoy ...

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Buoy popping over my 565” season total guess, I think we’ve got next weekend and another around to 10th/11th, then 18th or so and that may wrap er up. The season started super slow and then Feb really delivered, since we got all of our high pressure ridges out of the way early. March went out the way it came in, and now we get some spring skiing at its finest. Updated total guess around 620”. All in all, I’d call it a win of a season, especially after last year’s banger. #yeahbuoy

Buoy popping over my 565” season total guess, I think we’ve got next weekend and another around to 10th/11th, then 18th or so and that may wrap er up. The season started super slow and then Feb really delivered, since we got all of our high pressure ridges out of the way early. March went out the way it came in, and now we get some spring skiing at its finest. Updated total guess around 620”. All in all, I’d call it a win of a season, especially after last year’s banger. #yeahbuoy ...

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Mini pop for the 7th. More snow still incoming into the end of the month. Nice refresh next buoypop looks to be on April 2nd or 3rd and there’s a big storm heading towards Alaska for what that’s worth. #yeahbuoy

Mini pop for the 7th. More snow still incoming into the end of the month. Nice refresh next buoypop looks to be on April 2nd or 3rd and there’s a big storm heading towards Alaska for what that’s worth. #yeahbuoy ...

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March came in like a lion in Zion, kind of a lamb in between and roaring out like a Lion again. Looking strong through the rest of the month my guess is 50-60” (including today) in cottonwoods. In other news, went to the US Ski an Snowboard hall of fame induction last night, congrats to all new inductees. Lots of legends and great people in one room. Ever since I was a kid in NJ, got my first job at Pelican Ski & Sport on Rt 10, watching Greg Stump movies, reading Powder magazine and selling skis even though I was technically a grunt and should have been in the back room inadvertently making mustard gas from pool chemicals; I have loved skiing/riding and the whole community. Jake & Dave Moe (founders of Powder Magazine) helped pave the way for many to follow those dreams, and for that I am ever grateful. I feel lucky to have decided to move to Utah in 1993 to go to the U of U, I am blessed and grateful for the journey this whole crazy Powderbuoy thing has taken on and the payback I get in my heart and soul. Thanks to anyone who has read this far and in the words of Powder Magazine, “Powder to the People” 🙏#yeahbuoy.

March came in like a lion in Zion, kind of a lamb in between and roaring out like a Lion again. Looking strong through the rest of the month my guess is 50-60” (including today) in cottonwoods. In other news, went to the US Ski an Snowboard hall of fame induction last night, congrats to all new inductees. Lots of legends and great people in one room. Ever since I was a kid in NJ, got my first job at Pelican Ski & Sport on Rt 10, watching Greg Stump movies, reading Powder magazine and selling skis even though I was technically a grunt and should have been in the back room inadvertently making mustard gas from pool chemicals; I have loved skiing/riding and the whole community. Jake & Dave Moe (founders of Powder Magazine) helped pave the way for many to follow those dreams, and for that I am ever grateful. I feel lucky to have decided to move to Utah in 1993 to go to the U of U, I am blessed and grateful for the journey this whole crazy Powderbuoy thing has taken on and the payback I get in my heart and soul. Thanks to anyone who has read this far and in the words of Powder Magazine, “Powder to the People” 🙏#yeahbuoy. ...

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Upgrade! #dontjinxit #yeahbuoy

Upgrade! #dontjinxit #yeahbuoy ...

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First day of spring, but snow is just around the corner starting on the 24th for a few days. There’s another buoypop coming tomorrow and on the 24th, those put April 3rd & 7th on the radar for next storms. It ain’t over and who doesn’t like spring skiing?! What do we think season total will be at Alta? I’m guessing 565, what’s your guess? #yeahbuoy

First day of spring, but snow is just around the corner starting on the 24th for a few days. There’s another buoypop coming tomorrow and on the 24th, those put April 3rd & 7th on the radar for next storms. It ain’t over and who doesn’t like spring skiing?! What do we think season total will be at Alta? I’m guessing 565, what’s your guess? #yeahbuoy ...

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There we go, a little hope on the horizon, a couple of little mini bumps and then a pop make me think that we could start seeing a little bit of snow starting around the 22nd with some more follow through into the 24th then 26th. As much as February was an overachiever March has been kind of okayish. Don’t count this season out just yet, I had my best day of the year on April 5th last year so there’s always a chance. It looks like a little Cottonwood crossed over the 500 inch mark on this last storm, I bet no one thought that was happening the way the season started out so slowly. #yeahbuoy

There we go, a little hope on the horizon, a couple of little mini bumps and then a pop make me think that we could start seeing a little bit of snow starting around the 22nd with some more follow through into the 24th then 26th. As much as February was an overachiever March has been kind of okayish. Don’t count this season out just yet, I had my best day of the year on April 5th last year so there’s always a chance. It looks like a little Cottonwood crossed over the 500 inch mark on this last storm, I bet no one thought that was happening the way the season started out so slowly. #yeahbuoy ...

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Was off by a few days but next storm lined up for weds, lots of variability still, looks a little more put together up north. Small buoy pop yesterday puts the 22nd on the radar and looks like there may be some more buoy popping action later this week. Match came in like a lion last week but as of now isn’t looking nearly as exciting as Feb was. Spent the last week in warmer climates chasing permit salt water fly fishing, finally caught my first, so I’ve got that going for me… which is nice. #yeahbuoy #springforward

Was off by a few days but next storm lined up for weds, lots of variability still, looks a little more put together up north. Small buoy pop yesterday puts the 22nd on the radar and looks like there may be some more buoy popping action later this week. Match came in like a lion last week but as of now isn’t looking nearly as exciting as Feb was. Spent the last week in warmer climates chasing permit salt water fly fishing, finally caught my first, so I’ve got that going for me… which is nice. #yeahbuoy #springforward ...

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Storm inbound, 18-24 up high, a little warm before the storm right now. Looks like the next storm coming in with the beginning of March, looks like it’s a little more put together and stronger in Jackson. There was a small buoy pop yesterday which puts the eighth or ninth on the calendar for some snow. This kinda looks like the last pop until about the second or third of March, that means we probably mellow out on the storm front after the ninth for a week or so, we shall see. #lyeahbuoy

Storm inbound, 18-24 up high, a little warm before the storm right now. Looks like the next storm coming in with the beginning of March, looks like it’s a little more put together and stronger in Jackson. There was a small buoy pop yesterday which puts the eighth or ninth on the calendar for some snow. This kinda looks like the last pop until about the second or third of March, that means we probably mellow out on the storm front after the ninth for a week or so, we shall see. #lyeahbuoy ...

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