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100 ft Rogue Waves - they're out there

When I was getting my Master Mariner Class V ticket we were taught that there's no such thing as freak or rogue waves that are frequently reported by headline writers. Rather -

"There are large waves out there and you have to be prepared to meet them."

Seems my seadog tutors were right. A new study suggests there are waves commonly reaching 100 feet and theoretically capable of reaching 200 feet. Yeow! Let's go surfing!

"Enormous waves that sweep the ocean are traditionally called rogue waves, implying that they have a kind of freakish rarity. Over the decades, skeptical oceanographers have doubted their existence and tended to lump them together with sightings of mermaids and sea monsters.

But scientists are now finding that these giants of the sea are far more common and destructive than once imagined, prompting a rush of new studies and research projects. The goals are to better tally them, understand why they form, explore the possibility of forecasts, and learn how to better protect ships, oil platforms and people."

More here from The New York Times.

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Reader Comments (2)

Read "The Perfect Storm" [Sebastian Junger] sometime. One of the best books ever. There's a lot of research and history gone into it (as well as a lot of phsyics). There are lots of stories in there of really gigantic fxxxxers of waves in the North and North East Atlantic, wave meters that have gone off the measure, and some very convincing stories of how high some waves must have been when there's a lot on a boat to give a perfect sighting measurement. (And a good explanation of how seas and waves get this way.) In fact, of course, some of the rest of the fleet on which the book focuses also caught the 'big one' that night that's presumed to have sent the "Andrea Gail" to her doom. The story of the Canadian (female) observer on the Japanese fishing boat during that storm is particularly horrific.

I like checking out the North Atlantic high seas met reports at: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/tafb-atl.shtml Currently it's summer, with seas forecast from 10 - 12 feet, but a typical winter warning will read more like 'waves to 60', please remember that wave heights may be higher.'
July 12, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLou
Hey Lou - check out the craft we made at Fox Studios, Sydney for Superman Returns. I'd like to see that surfing a 100 foot wave!
July 12, 2006 | Registered CommenterMalcolm Lambe

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