23-meter wave off the coast of California, 2019
As we’ve just explained, most huge waves are formed when they arrive at the coast, where water is shallower. But, just like anything else, there are exceptions. And the first wave on our list is one of them.
It happened off Cape Mendocino in California on November 26, 2019, where buoy No. 94 from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s coastal data information program recorded a wave of 23 meters.
The last large wave recorded by this information programme was just over 15 meters, and that was in 2012, so it is definitely an exceptional event.
The big west-northwestern waves of November 26, 2019 were caused by an exceptionally powerful cyclone approaching the coasts of Oregon and northern California. During the storm, winds of 140 km/h were recorded off the coast, with bursts of more than 170 km/h!