Research buoy «catches» monster wave off US Pacific coast


Coastal buoys of the US Ocean Engineering Research Group recorded a record high wave on 27 November. In the Pacific Ocean near Cape Mendocino (200 miles north of San Francisco), waves averaged 13.14 meters, and the maximum level rose to 22.7 meters. That's enough to talk about scientists fixing another monster wave.

The average value is obtained considering the height from the trough to the crest of the third largest of all measured waves. So it is not surprising that the maximum height of an individual wave turned out to be almost twice as big as the average value.

The Coastal Data Information Program (CDIP) observations have been carried out since 1975. The data are needed primarily to help engineers develop the coastal and nearshore infrastructure. It is also used by meteorologists and mariners.

The waves recorded by the buoy this time are some of the largest ever recorded by CDIP. They are thought to be caused by the effects of the cyclone that reigned over the California coast that week.

However, while an average height of 13 meters sounds impressive, it is by no means uncommon in parts of the Atlantic and Pacific, with a record average being recorded in 2016. At that time, it churned up 19-meter high waves in the North Atlantic. And in 2017, a hurricane in the Pacific Northwest raised the average to 17.6 meters. But usually such waves are still recorded by satellites, not buoys on the water surface.

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