The World Meteorological Organization revealed that a buoy in the North Atlantic Ocean had the ride of its life back on February 4, 2013. Located between Iceland and the U.K., the automated buoy recorded the highest wave ever recorded by a buoy at 62.3 (19 meters) feet high.
This massive wave was classified as “the highest significant wave height as measured by a buoy,” according to the WMO Commission for Climatology’s Extremes Evaluation Committee.
“This is the first time we have ever measured a wave of 19 meters,” Wenjian Zhang, the WMO’s assistant secretary-general, said on Tuesday. “It is a remarkable record,” he added.
“It highlights the importance of meteorological and ocean observations and forecasts to ensure the safety of the global maritime industry and to protect the lives of crew and passengers on busy shipping lanes,” he went on to say.
The North Atlantic is actually a breeding ground for incredibly high waves and many world-record waves actually occur in this area. The winter months in the North Atlantic see incredibly strong “extra-tropical storms” as a result of atmospheric pressure and wind circulation patterns.
“The new world record will be added to the official WMO archive of weather and climate extremes which is being constantly updated and expanded thanks to continued improvements in instrumentation, technology and analysis,” says Randall Cerveny, WMO’s Joint Rapporteur on World Records of Climate and Weather Extremes.