The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced this week confirmation of an epic wave recorded by an automated buoy in the North Atlantic Ocean between Iceland and the UK in February 2013. Today researchers are able to confirm its height: 19 meters high.
To get the mood, imagine a six-story building, or the height of four double-decker buses if you stack them on top of each other. Are you there? » This is the first time that we have measured a wave of 19 meters explains WMO Deputy Secretary-General Zhang Wenjian. » It’s a new record « . A real wall of water recorded by an automated buoy in the North Atlantic Ocean between Iceland and the United Kingdom in February 2013, the result of a very cold front producing winds of up to 80 km / h in the region . This wave therefore exceeds the previous record of December 2007 recorded at 18.275 meters also in the North Atlantic.
These gigantic waves are indeed more common in this region of the globe due to the habits of wind circulation and the atmospheric pressure recorded especially during the winter. These extreme conditions sometimes produce intense extratropical storms described as weather « bombshells » that tend to build offshore in the upper North Atlantic from the eastern Canadian coast to the Iceland, bordering the west coast of the United Kingdom.
But remember that this wave “only” broke the record for the highest wave measured by a buoy which records crucial data in this part of the globe which hosts several commercial maritime routes. Another category stands out with regard to the measurement of waves in the open ocean: measurements taken from ships. And the record for this category is even bigger with a wave detected by a British oceanographic research vessel in 2000 which stood 29.05 meters high. Also in the North Atlantic.
Note that all measurements recorded by WMO can be viewed in WMO’s World Weather & Climate Extremes Archive which details all kinds of weather values like temperatures, precipitation, hail, lightning and much more. In other words, it’s a bit like the Guinness Book of Records, but for the weather. So you won’t find anything about pie-eating contests or the world’s longest fingernails.
And here is one of the biggest waves ever surfed: