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GENEVA, December 14. /TASS/. A World Meteorological Organization expert committee has established a new world record wave height of 19 meters (62.3 feet) registered in the North Atlantic, the organization said on its website.
"This is the first time we have ever measured a wave of 19 meters. It is a remarkable record," WMO Assistant Secretary-General Wenjian Zhang said in a statement released Tuesday. "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."
The wave was recorded by an automated buoy at 06:00 UTC on February 4, 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 world record of nearly 18.3 meters (60 feet) was measured on December 8, 2007, also in the North Atlantic, where the highest waves are most likely to occur due to peculiar wind circulation patterns and atmospheric pressure.
Before announcing a record, experts have to thoroughly analyze the data and measurements. This is a lengthy process, and sometimes it takes years to register a record. For example, the strongest wind was detected by weather stations in 1996, but it took some 14 years to recover and study the data with the record being officially registered only in 2010.