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2006-12-12
Author: Category: News

The highest measured waves in the Baltic Sea


The Finnish Institute of Marine Research has measured waves since 1970s in different locations in the northern and middle parts of the Baltic Sea. Even if the Baltic Sea is small compared with the oceans, it is able to bring up waves of respectable heights. The highest waves in the Baltic Sea are common during storms in the big oceans, but higher waves rare even there.

The northern parts of the Baltic Proper have one of the most severe wave climates in the Baltic Sea. Durint a storm on 22 December 2004, the significant wave height in northern Baltic Proper reached 7.7 metres and the highest individual wave was 14 metres. The former record was 7.4 metres, which was measured twice in December 1999. Before the storm in December 2004, a significant wave height of 7.7 metres has been measured only once, in January 1984 at Almagrundet near the Swedish coast ( SMHI).

The highest measured significant wave height off Helsinki in the Gulf of Finland is 5.2 metres. It was measured on 15.11.2001 and the highest individual wave reached 9 metres. Both easterly and westerly winds are able to generate waves this high, but much higher they are not expected to grow due to the narrow shape of the Gulf of Finland.

In the southern Bothnian Sea, a significant wave height of 5.5 metres, measured in 1970s, is still holding the record. The highest individual wave was 10 metres.

The highest measured significant wave height in the Bay of Bothnia is 3.1 metres with a highest individual wave of 5.6 metres.

Finnish Institute of Marine Research

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