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Crescent Beach sensor

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by cwincald » Wed Sep 08, 2021 4:54 pm

A few months ago David Johnson was kiting at Crescent Beach and noticed a weather vane on one of the boat channel markers off Crescent Beach. There are 2 markers fairly close to the beach and this is the further out. It is absolutely the ideal place to have a wind sensor for Crescent. He did a lot of sleuthing and found out that it is being administered on behalf of the City of Surrey by Northwest Hydraulic Consultants (NHC) and that there is public access on the website. To drill down to the readings is a bit clunky but we now have it down to 2 bookmarks.

First go to to sign in

username public
password nhcwater!

This opens a map, there is a search box in the upper right corner. Type in cres which gives you a choice of two. Pick the one that says channel pile. That will take you to an enlarged map with a box that has location info. Click on the location icon. You are now presented with a table. The data set that is second from the bottom says windspeed.10minute@Crescent. At the right side of the table there is a box which says “go to”, click that and select chart. You are presented with several days of data but you can narrow it down by either dragging the “now” line to the left or dragging the left handle on the box below the chart to the right so that it only shows the most recent data. Putting the cursor on the latest data point opens the reading. It is in metres/sec. and there doesn’t seem to be any way to change that. The conversion factor is very easy though, 1 metre/sec is essentially 2 knots. The time is UTC which appears to be the same as GMT ie not summer time.

Like I said it is all a bit clunky but I just set bookmarks for the log in page and the chart. I also have found it very difficult to get it to work on a phone although an iPad works OK. It doesn’t at present give wind direction although I understand that may change.

This has the potential to be very useful for Boundary Bay users especially those of us that are too tight to pay iWindsurf. It is far enough out that it will probably give decent info even in a SE which is a bit offshore at Crescent. And maybe Alton can figure out a way to present this in a more user friendly way!
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by cwincald » Fri Sep 10, 2021 9:31 am

Wouldn’t you know it, I put the original post on the forum 2 days ago and yesterday we found out that Surrey have renegotiated the maintainence contract for the sensor and NHC didn’t get it! There won’t be any changes for a few weeks but eventually the site access username and password will change. Furthermore the City of Surrey liaison person has suggested that at that time we may be able to get wind direction added. I’ll update when any of this happens.

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by keeldude » Tue Mar 26, 2024 9:38 pm

The sensor on the piling just off Crescent Beach, near to shore, in the dredged channel is now online again after being down for a long time. It does wind speed/direction and wave height, with no wave period. There is still the offshore wave monitoring station in the center of boundary bay which has the wave height and wave period too.

The station at Crescent Channel is now live on my website (shameless plug:, in addition to the station on the piling in the center of boundary bay, which has been up for a couple years now, also on my website.

Surrey apparently is exploring using AI to analyze webcam data for sea state conditions, so that could be pretty sweet to have more wave data right at WR pier for example. Cheaper infrastructure to maintain since the wave buoys/stations go offline more often than webcams.

I've noticed that the wave data in Crescent Beach Channel is much lower than the outer sensor in the middle of the bay, so we'll have to see how it responds to the swell, particularly on SW, but you'll at least have the wind data there too. There's an unfortunate delay of more than one hour currently but maybe they will straighten that out.

There's also the weather station at the end of the WR pier which I'll connect the data feed soon.

Link to Surrey's Public FlowWorks data:
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