National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
Water Temperature Climatology, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Select a new site using this map:  Wrightsville Beach, Oak Island, Myrtle Beach, Frying Pan Shoals Buoy

Water temperature climatology information
is available for each site above.  Click for info.

 

Latest Water Temp
75°

The Frying Pan Shoals Buoy is a NOAA weather buoy moored in the Atlantic Ocean southeast of Cape Fear, NC. The buoy floats in 77 feet of water at a position 31 miles southeast of Bald Head Island, NC, or about 68 miles east of Myrtle Beach, SC. This is typically 30-50 miles from the western wall of the Gulf Stream current, however warm eddies can occasionally break off the main flow of the Gulf Stream producing water temperatures in the 70s in mid-winter. The buoy is located approximately 10 miles west-southwest of Frying Pan Tower, formerly a Coast Guard light station which was equipped with a NOAA weather station designated FPSN7. The buoy and tower take their name from Frying Pan Shoals, a treacherous region of shallow water extending southeastward from Bald Head Island for 30 or more miles from shore. Numerous shipwrecks dating back into the 1800s still rest on the sea floor here.

 

Average Water Temperatures for the Frying Pan Shoals Buoy

January

February

March

April

May

June

1-10

11-20

21-31

1-10

11-20

21-29

1-10

11-20

21-31

1-10

11-20

21-30

1-10

11-20

21-31

1-10

11-20

21-30

66

64

63

62

61

63

62

63

64

65

67

70

71

73

75

78

80

81

 

July

August

September

October

November

December

1-10

11-20

21-31

1-10

11-20

21-31

1-10

11-20

21-30

1-10

11-20

21-31

1-10

11-20

21-30

1-10

11-20

21-31

81

82

82

83

83

83

82

81

81

80

78

75

74

72

71

70

68

67

Average values are given for early (1st-10th), mid (11th-20th), and late (21st-31st) each month.

 

Detailed Water Temperature Statistics for the Frying Pan Shoals Buoy

Box and Whisker statistical plot.  Colored boxes indicate the 25th through 75th percentiles, with the red/blue center of each box indicating the mean (average) value.  The black whiskers indicate the highest and lowest temperatures ever observed during each roughly 10 day time period throughout the year.

Box and whisker statistical plot of water temperatures for the Frying Pan Shoals buoy

 

Statistical table of water temperature data.  In addition to mean, highest and lowest values for each time period, various percentiles are displayed. 

 

 

Jan

 

 

Feb

 

 

Mar

 

 

Apr

 

 

May

 

 

Jun

 

 

1-10

11-20

21-31

1-10

11-20

21-29

1-10

11-20

21-31

1-10

11-20

21-30

1-10

11-20

21-31

1-10

11-20

21-30

Highest

75.9

74.1

71.2

72.0

70.5

72.5

71.6

71.8

77.0

73.8

76.8

76.3

76.6

78.4

82.8

83.5

88.2

86.2

Upper 0.1%

75.7

73.9

70.9

71.6

70.0

72.5

71.4

71.2

76.6

73.6

76.6

75.9

76.3

78.4

82.0

82.6

87.6

85.8

Upper 1%

74.8

73.2

70.5

70.5

69.1

72.1

70.0

70.3

75.4

72.7

73.9

74.8

75.2

77.5

79.9

81.7

84.7

84.7

Upper 5%

72.6

71.2

69.1

68.5

67.6

70.5

68.0

69.1

72.7

70.5

72.9

73.9

74.1

76.3

78.1

80.4

82.9

83.8

Upper 10%

71.4

69.6

68.2

67.3

66.2

69.4

66.9

68.0

71.2

69.7

72.0

72.5

73.8

75.6

77.5

80.1

82.2

83.1

Upper 25%

69.8

67.3

66.4

64.9

64.2

66.2

64.9

66.2

67.1

68.2

70.0

71.1

72.5

74.7

76.5

79.0

81.0

82.0

MEAN

65.7

64.0

62.6

62.1

61.3

63.1

61.6

63.4

64.5

65.3

67.4

69.5

71.3

73.3

75.1

77.5

79.6

80.7

Lower 25%

63.0

61.0

59.2

60.3

58.8

60.3

58.8

60.6

61.5

63.3

64.8

68.0

70.2

72.3

73.8

76.1

78.3

79.5

Lower 10%

59.5

57.7

55.9

56.3

56.5

57.4

54.1

57.4

57.6

59.0

63.5

65.8

68.7

70.0

72.7

75.2

76.6

78.3

Lower 5%

56.3

55.8

54.1

52.9

55.0

55.9

52.3

55.9

56.7

57.4

62.6

64.9

68.0

69.1

72.1

74.8

76.1

77.7

Lower 1%

52.0

51.3

52.3

49.8

50.2

53.6

50.9

53.8

55.4

56.5

60.4

63.9

67.3

68.4

70.5

73.9

75.4

77.0

Lower 0.1%

50.4

50.5

50.5

49.1

49.1

52.7

49.7

53.1

54.7

55.9

60.1

63.3

66.4

68.0

70.2

73.4

75.0

74.5

Lowest

50.2

50.2

50.2

49.1

48.9

51.8

49.5

52.7

54.5

55.8

59.4

63.3

66.2

68.0

70.0

73.2

74.8

74.1

 

 

 

Jul

 

 

Aug

 

 

Sep

 

 

Oct

 

 

Nov

 

 

Dec

 

ANN

 

1-10

11-20

21-31

1-10

11-20

21-31

1-10

11-20

21-30

1-10

11-20

21-31

1-10

11-20

21-30

1-10

11-20

21-31

 

Highest

85.8

88.3

87.8

87.4

90.1

90.5

85.8

87.1

86.2

84.2

82.0

80.6

81.0

78.8

77.4

77.9

76.6

76.3

90.5

Upper 0.1%

85.8

87.4

87.4

86.9

89.2

88.0

85.6

85.5

86.0

84.0

82.0

80.6

80.4

78.3

76.7

77.3

76.5

76.3

86.5

Upper 1%

85.3

85.8

86.2

86.0

87.2

86.2

84.9

84.6

84.4

83.5

81.3

79.7

79.9

77.9

75.9

76.6

75.6

75.7

85.1

Upper 5%

84.2

84.6

85.1

85.1

85.6

85.5

84.2

83.3

83.3

82.0

80.8

79.0

79.0

76.8

75.2

75.9

73.6

74.3

83.7

Upper 10%

83.5

84.0

84.6

84.7

85.3

84.7

83.8

82.8

82.6

81.7

80.2

78.3

78.1

76.1

74.7

75.0

72.1

72.7

82.6

Upper 25%

82.4

83.1

83.5

84.0

84.4

84.2

82.8

82.0

82.0

81.0

79.2

76.8

76.3

74.7

73.2

73.2

70.2

70.2

80.2

MEAN

81.3

82.2

82.5

82.8

83.0

83.0

82.0

81.3

80.8

79.5

77.7

75.2

73.9

72.3

71.2

70.4

67.9

67.4

72.8

Lower 25%

79.9

81.3

81.5

81.5

81.7

82.0

81.1

80.4

79.9

78.3

76.5

73.6

71.1

70.2

70.0

68.0

66.4

64.8

66.6

Lower 10%

79.0

80.6

81.0

81.0

80.2

81.1

80.2

79.7

78.8

77.0

75.6

72.7

70.0

67.8

66.6

65.5

63.1

62.4

61.9

Lower 5%

78.6

80.1

80.4

80.2

79.9

80.4

79.9

79.0

77.4

76.1

74.8

72.0

69.1

66.2

64.2

64.0

60.4

60.5

59.0

Lower 1%

77.9

79.3

79.7

79.7

79.0

79.9

79.7

78.3

76.1

75.7

73.6

70.2

67.8

64.9

62.1

61.5

52.4

53.9

54.1

Lower 0.1%

76.3

78.8

78.4

79.2

79.0

79.0

78.8

77.2

76.1

75.6

73.0

69.4

67.1

64.2

61.3

59.3

49.0

52.0

50.2

Lowest

74.8

78.8

78.4

79.0

78.3

78.6

78.8

77.0

76.1

75.6

72.9

69.1

66.4

64.2

61.2

58.8

48.7

51.6

48.7

 

 

After quality control, a total of 120,523 individual water temperature observations were available to calculate the values used in this climatology.  Data was collected from the NOAA/NDBC weather buoy 41013 over the period 2003 through 2018.  Current weather and wave data for this site is available here.

 

Page Author and Statistical Analysis:  Tim Armstrong
Page Created:  July 31, 2014
Last Updated:  February 27, 2019