Colossal Wave is now Largest ever Recorded

By Hollie Misztak December 15, 2016

Boat Insurance

A colossal wave in the North Atlantic near Scotland that was captured from the UK back in February of 2013 is now the largest ever recorded, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO); beating the previous record from the North Atlantic in 2007 measuring 60 feet.


The data was captured by automated buoy data analysis. Scientists calculate the height by measuring the distance of the crest of one wave to the trough of the next. The buoys collect information on sea swells, currents, and temperatures.  The buoy that recorded the wave is part of an extensive network of both moored and drifting buoys that monitor the oceans and forecasts.

The WMO said the delay in confirming the new record was due to the time it took to analyze and cross check the data. “This is the first time we have ever measured a wave of 19 meters. It is a remarkable record,” said Wnjian Zhang, WMO Assistant Secretary-General, in a statement. The analyzing of this data is crucial to weather predictions and ocean behaviors. “We need high quality and extensive ocean records to help in our understanding of weather/ocean interactions.” He also added that despite technological advances, buoys are still a vital tool in collecting data from those hard to reach areas of the ocean.


The wave measured is about four times higher than a double-decker bus, and about twelve times higher than the average sized man. The wave produced winds up to 50 mph (80 kph) and followed up with a “very strong cold front”.  While the gigantic swell has confirmed its place in the record books, it falls short of the biggest wave ever surfed, a 78 foot was surfed in Portugal back in 2011.


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