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Old 15-12-2016, 08:09   #31
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Re: World Record Wave

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
For the nerds, more details here:

https://wmo.asu.edu/content/World-Highest-Wave-Buoy

including the fact that there was a maximum wave height reading of 27 meters around that time with winds a bit over 40 knots.

(Sorry Don, no period or length given)
Stu,
Thanks for finding that report and posting the link. I found the report interesting. The graphics helpful too.

"During the period of the highest waves the wind speeds measured on the buoy were over 35 kn for the 12 hours preceding the highest waves, with a maximum wind speed reported of 43.8 kn, as shown in Figure 2. The winds were measured using a Gill windsonic (acoustic) anemometer on the buoy at around 3m above sea level. The synoptic situation at 0600 on 4th February is given in Figure 3 which shows an intense depression to the north of the buoy with prolonged strong westerly to northwesterly winds at the K5 station."

I am also GREATLY impressed by the fact that the wind speeds were not "hurricane force" but were merely "35kn for the 12 hours preceding" and that the maximum wind speed was just 43.8kn.

That surprised me. What it means to me too is that VERY LARGE waves (and significant wave trains) can be seen even if the winds are not very high. Of course this is the North Atlantic, with a long fetch and there was a severe depression noted, but I think one should remember this as if one is out on the ocean.

Put very simply: the MONSTER WAVE may come along after a gale or during a gale which has wind speeds as little as 35-40 knots.

By itself, the wind at that speed is not frightening, (e.g. in SF I routinely sailed in 20-30 knots of wind) but the HUGE waves would be. More reason to "batten down the hatches" securely, secure things on deck, and secure things below. Better to be prepared.

The graphic below (from that report) shows the distribution of wave heights over the reported time. The "graphic" depiction of the height of the highest reported wave (red dots are highest waves during that period), in comparison to the solid line "Significant Wave Height (SWH)" which is an average (of a subset of waves) helps to appreciate the size of the largest wave. While the SWH waves were very large, the highest was a MONSTER. Wow!

Also, as shown in the red dots, the highest wave was followed by another wave almost as high and preceded and followed by other waves that were significantly larger than the SWH line shows. I think this graphic is great for visualizing the difference.
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Old 15-12-2016, 15:09   #32
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Re: World Record Wave

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Originally Posted by SailOar View Post
Why is a record wave recorded in February of 2013 just now being reported by the general media?

OP's link:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...north-atlantic

StuM's link:
https://wmo.asu.edu/content/World-Highest-Wave-Buoy
They have lots of data from lots of buoys to analyse, si it probably took a while before it was flagged as significant.

And once they noticed it, it had to be evaluated by a 5 man committee
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Old 15-12-2016, 15:34   #33
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Re: World Record Wave

Quote:
I am also GREATLY impressed by the fact that the wind speeds were not "hurricane force" but were merely "35kn for the 12 hours preceding" and that the maximum wind speed was just 43.8kn.
Steady, do note that those wind speeds were measured at the top of the buoy, not at the normal 10 meter height. There is considerable sheer between those heights and thus these reported speeds are somewhat lower than would normally be reported.

And the winds nearer the center of the depression may well have been a lot higher, generating seas that propagated to the buoy site.

But still quite impressive lumps of water. Glad I wasn't there to see them!

Jim
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Old 15-12-2016, 15:48   #34
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Re: World Record Wave

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Steady, do note that those wind speeds were measured at the top of the buoy, not at the normal 10 meter height. There is considerable sheer between those heights and thus these reported speeds are somewhat lower than would normally be reported.

And the winds nearer the center of the depression may well have been a lot higher, generating seas that propagated to the buoy site.

But still quite impressive lumps of water. Glad I wasn't there to see them!

Jim
Jim,

Good points!

Duly noted and understood.
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Old 15-12-2016, 16:16   #35
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Re: World Record Wave

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
And the winds nearer the center of the depression may well have been a lot higher, generating seas that propagated to the buoy site.
Jim
That was my thought too.
And I am still curious about the wavelength because a half mile wavelength and a 100 meter wavelength are a little different in terms of fear factor.... still, looks like fun surfing!
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Old 15-12-2016, 16:18   #36
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Re: World Record Wave

They have recorded over 100 ft just north of Vancouver Isl in the winter... Bouy measurement. IIRC...so not sure that is a record....
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Old 15-12-2016, 18:43   #37
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Re: World Record Wave

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
They have recorded over 100 ft just north of Vancouver Isl in the winter... Bouy measurement. IIRC...so not sure that is a record....
That don't count just like the hundred plus footers we sailed thru back In '89
They specificly say in the north Atlantic. So anywhere else doesn't count I guess
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Old 15-12-2016, 19:20   #38
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Re: World Record Wave

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
They have recorded over 100 ft just north of Vancouver Isl in the winter... Bouy measurement. IIRC...so not sure that is a record....
Quote:
Originally Posted by newhaul View Post
That don't count just like the hundred plus footers we sailed thru back In '89
They specificly say in the north Atlantic. So anywhere else doesn't count I guess
Come on guys! Once again: the record was for highest SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT, and you are talking max wave height. As explained before, they are NOT the same thing at all.

If you look at the chart that Steady posted, the black dots represent the max wave heights within the time frame. There are two associated with the peak in the sig height, and they are both well over 25 meters. One appears to be around 27-28, and that is very close to your reports of 100 foot waves.

And while sweeping the flight deck of a big carrier is damn impressive, it doesn't mean that the actual wave height would have been measured at over the flight deck's height above the WL. The dynamics of the carrier moving through the waves can carry green water much higher than if the carrier had not been there.

The news reporting for this event is distorted (fancy that!) but the report itself seems pretty valid.

And I hope to never even be in the same ocean with seas like that!

Jim
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