May 12, 2018

Scientists at Metocean, part of Meteorological Metservice of New Zealand have recorded what is believed to be the largest wave ever in the southern hemisphere. A moored wave rider buoy recorded the 23.8 meter (78 ft) wave on Tuesday 8 May, during a ferocious storm in the wild Southern Ocean near Campbell Island, some 700 kilometres (430 miles) south of New Zealand.
“This is a very exciting event and to our knowledge it is largest wave ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere,” says Senior Oceanographer Dr Tom Durrant. “Our own previous record was one year ago when we measured a 19.4 m wave, and before that in 2012, an Australian buoy recorded a maximum individual wave (Hmax) of 22.03 m. So, this is a very important storm to capture, and it will add greatly to our understanding of the wave physics under extreme conditions in the Southern Ocean.”
The researcher found that the storm that rocked the area before heading east probably caused waves exceeding 25 meters. But the scientists’ buoy, installed in March to record extreme weather conditions in the Southern Ocean, was not in the right place to measure them, he added.
An intense, fast-moving low-pressure system helped stir up the record-breaking wave. The waves were roaring up the west coast of New Zealand on Thursday 10 May, and will hit North America in about a week’s time.
The largest wave ever noted was an earthquake-generated tsunami at Alaska’s Lituya Bay in 1958 that measured 30.5 metres, according to Smithsonian magazine. (Source: MetOcean, – Image: Metocean)