largest waves ever recorded off California coast last week. One was 75-feet tall
Dec 6, 2019 | 0 |
CNN – The bomb cyclone that pounded the West Coast last week brought with it some of the tallest waves ever recorded off the California coast. A monstrous 75-foot wave was recorded about 20 miles off the coast of Cape Mendocino in northern California, according to the University of California, San Diego’s Coastal Data Information Program. In the 15 years, the program has operated a station in that location, the significant wave height — or the average height of the tallest third of waves that occur over 30 minutes — typically doesn’t exceed 10 feet tall during the winter. The 75-footer was the tallest of the waves recorded in that period, which averaged around 43 feet tall.
Still, that’s “definitely unusual” for this time of year, program manager James Behrens told CNN. “These kinds of really large waves are usually only detected way out in the middle of the ocean when winds are being generated,” he said. The program’s buoys had only measured taller waves at one other station, located in the remote North Pacific Ocean where extreme waves are expected to form on occasion, he said. Troy Nicolini, meteorologist in charge at NOAA’s National Weather Service, explained that the bomb cyclone brought a dynamic fetch, an event when strong winds move in the same direction and speed as the waves it’s generating.