When the earthquake hit Japan this morning, warning lights rapidly flashed in an office at Stennis Space Center in southern Mississippi.
The National Data Buoy Center, which is part of the National Weather Service, monitors 39 buoys around the world from the facility at Stennis, said director Helmut Portmann. The information Portmann’s office gathers helps the tsunami warning centers make predictions on the height of the waves before they roll into shore.
The buoys, eight feet in diameter, float on the surface of the water. Nylon ropes connect them to sensitive pressure sensors on the ocean floor.
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