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A World Meteorological Organization expert committee has established a new world record wave height of 19 meters (62.3 feet) measured by a buoy in the North Atlantic.
The wave was recorded by an automated buoy at 0600 UTC on 4 February 2013 in the North Atlantic ocean between Iceland and the United Kingdom. It followed the passage of a very strong cold front, which produced winds of up to 43.8 knots (50.4 miles per hour) over the area.
The previous record of 18.275 meters was measured on 8 December 2007, also in the North Atlantic.
The WMO Commission for Climatology’s Extremes Evaluation Committee classified it as “the highest significant wave height as measured by a buoy”. The Committee consisted of scientists from Great Britain, Canada, the United States of America and Spain.
“This is the first time we have ever measured a wave of 19 meters. It is a remarkable record,” said WMO Assistant Secretary-General Wenjian Zhang. “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 said.