The ocean covers more than 70 percent of our planet's surface, driving weather and ultimately supporting all living organisms.
Throughout history, the vast waters have been a vital source of transportation, commerce, growth and inspiration. Yet, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, 95 percent of the ocean's floor remains unexplored and unseen by human eyes.
Earlier this month, the first ever national forum aimed at shaping a national ocean exploration program was held in Long Beach, Calif. The program getting constructed hopes to be fully implemented by the year 2020. NOAA says the agency is dedicated to increased mapping and describing the physical, biological, geological, chemical and archaeological aspects of the world's oceans.
Ocean buoys have been used to collect weather data since 1951. Drifting buoys have been used since 1979 and are currently the chief source of data for forecast models with 1,250 units worldwide. The number of buoys along the west coast has increased over the past decades. Satellite imagery also plays an important part in bringing ocean observations to the forecaster.
Meteorologist Rod Hill, follow me @