The largest wave in history is recorded in the Atlantic


The highest wave in history was recorded by a float in the North Atlantic and has a height equivalent to 6 stories.

At 19 meters high, it emerged between Iceland and the United Kingdom, off the coast of the Outer Hebrides, also known as the Western Isles, located in the north-west of Scotland.

This phenomenon occurred after the arrival of a strong cold front, with winds of more than 80 kilometers per hour, on February 4, 2013. This wave is, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a new world record for an ocean wave.

An association of experts from WMO – which is a UN body – has only confirmed this new record now during this month of December 2016.

The previous mark was a wave of 18,275 meters in height, registered in December 2007, also in the North Atlantic.

“This is the first time a 19-meter wave is measured. This is a remarkable record”, said WMO Deputy Secretary-General Zhang Wenjian.

It would not, however, be the biggest wave in the world. In the year 2002, a ship sighted a 29-meter-high wave in the same ocean. But there were no measurements rectified by the organization.

The height of a wave is measured from its crest to the base that follows it.

The registered float is part of the network of Automatic Marine Meteorological Stations of the UK Met Office, the Office of Meteorology of the United Kingdom.

Called K5, this buoy is located on the coast of the Outer Hebrides. This type of equipment complements measurements taken by ships and satellites that monitor offshore forecasts.
Giant waves occur frequently in the North Atlantic, the waters extend from the coast of Canada to the south of Iceland and the west of the United Kingdom.

According to the WMO, in the winter, the circulation of the winds and the systems of low atmospheric pressure cause storms or extratropical cyclones.

The phenomenon contributes to the thermal equilibrium of equatorial regions and polar regions.