Record-Setting 75-Foot Wave Recorded Off the Northern California Coast

Photo: Flickr/mlhradio

A 75-foot wave was recorded off the Northern California coast on November 26, setting the record for the largest ever recorded off the California coast. The wave was recorded at the Cape Mendocino Buoy, which is about 20 miles off the Mendocino Coast, during what’s come to be known the “bomb cyclone” storm during Thanksgiving week.

While waves of this size are routinely recorded deep off the California coast, none have been seen this close to the coast.

“Waves of that size usually only occur far out at sea where the wind has been blowing across a big area,” said James Behrens, the principal development engineer and manager for Scripp’s Coastal Data Information Program, to the SFGate. “The only other station in the network that measured a wave this large is deployed 800 miles off the coast of Washington.”

The wave came when gusts of up to 50 mph were detected in the area. During the timing of the ‘bomb cyclone’ storm, waves at the Cape Mendocino Buoy averaged 43 feet.

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