Ocean waves have always fascinated me. What is the highest wave height ever measured and recognized as being accurate?
James Orculate, Madison, Wisc,
The world Meteorological Organization establishes record oceanic wave heights. The current world record wave height is 62.3 feet measured by a buoy in the North Atlantic Ocean at 6am UTC on February 4, 2013 at 59 degrees north, 11 degrees west. It was located between Iceland and the United Kingdom. The wave followed the passage of a strong cold front that produced winds of 50 mph in the area.
The previous record wave height was 60.0 feet, measured on December 8, 2007, also in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Higher waves have occurred as a result of avalanches that plunged into coastal waters. The largest of these is the Lituya Bay, Alaska, tsunami of July 9, 1958. An earthquake triggered a rockslide of about 40 million tons into the inlet of Lituya Bay. The sudden displacement of water caused a megatsunami that washed away trees to a maximum elevation of 1,720 feet at the entrance to the bay.