MENDOCINO, Calif.—The bomb cyclone that slammed into Northern California’s coast Thanksgiving week generated some of the largest waves recorded by the University of California, San Diego’s Coastal Data Information Program (CDIP) buoys.
A monstrous 75-foot wave was recorded about 20 miles off the coast of Cape Mendocino in Northern California on Nov. 27, according to CDIP.
Scientists from the University of California said it was the tallest wave they had documented in the last 15 years. Typically, the program found the average height of “significant” waves do not exceed 10 feet during the winter.
Around the same time as the other recording, a buoy about 12 miles off the coast of Humboldt Bay, North Spit, California recorded a significant wave height of 37.6 feet.
Fortunately, the waves came ashore during low tide and the National Weather Service called off boaters from entering the water, so the coast avoided harm.
A “bomb cyclone” refers to a steep drop in air pressure within a storm in a matter of hours, causing 74-95 mph winds. Over Thanksgiving week, the storm dumped rain and snow on the West Coast and set low – pressure records in northern California and parts of Oregon, according to the National Weather Service.
Note: A previous version of this story stated the wave was recorded on Nov. 26. The story has been updated to reflect the correct date, Nov. 27.