Record wave surfed in Ireland: Giant 20-metre high wave off Donegal

VIA – IRISH TIMES

Giant 20-metre high wave off Donegal

LUKE CASSIDY, JOANNE HUNT and TIM O’BRIEN

The highest wave ever recorded in Irish waters formed off the coast of Donegal this afternoon, according to Met Éireann.

The M4 weather buoy, positioned approximately 16km west of Rossan Point, recorded a maximum wave height of 20.4 metres or 67 feet.

The maximum wave height, recorded just after 2pm, was the highest ever recorded in Irish waters, the forecaster said on its website.

The new record toppled an earlier record wave recorded at the buoy between 11am and noon today.

“There was a record wave of 20.2 metres earlier but it didn’t last very long,” a spokesman from Met Éireann said.

“The previous record was something like 16 metres so it’s a significant jump in magnitude.”

“These are relatively new buoys that can do this. I don’t think we would have records going back a long time – so it’s a record but it’s a relatively new measurement system. It’s not like some of our temperature records that go back over 150 years but certainly it’s exceptional.”

Met Éireann said a storm passing to the North of Ireland coupled with westerly winds feeding in behind it are likely to have created the record wave.

“If you get a long stream of strong winds from the same direction, you get waves building up. Often, it’s to do with the fact that the wind direction is quite consistent so it keeps building up and up. It’s possibly been building up over the last few days.”

Earlier, the forecasters issued a severe weather alert with…

For the full story go here:

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2011/1213/breaking25.html

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