Dorian kicks up behemoth 100-foot wave off Port aux Basques

As post-tropical storm Dorian moves its way north of Newfoundland and Labrador data is rolling in on how powerful the storm really was.

According to the Washington Post, which tracked the storm north of the United States, a Marine Institute-owned buoy picked up a massive rogue wave that topped 100 feet, just over 30 metres. That’s about the equivalent of an eight-storey building.

“It appears that this was measured with storm Dorian as it was moving up toward the island of Newfoundland just a little ways offshore from Port aux Basques,” David Neil, a meteorologist with the Gander weather office told CBC Radio’s St. John’s Morning Show.

The buoys measure what’s called a significant wave height, which measures the highest third of all waves offshore.  

Emergency crews respond Sunday to a power line downed in Corner Brook. ( Lindsay Bird/CBC)


Neil said big waves are to be expected in hurricanes and tropical storms, but only predicted them to reach between 10 and 15 metres as Dorian made its way over Newfoundland and Labrador. 

Neil said it’s possible the wave broke on land, although the initial measurement was kilometres away from the coastline and there has been no confirmation. 

Building together

While a wave of this magnitude isn’t common, Neil said it’s always plausible. 

The meteorologist said it generally takes a combination of naturally occurring events during a storm to have waves reach 75 to 100 feet.

“With the wave heights that were coming in that were quite high, if you get a few of those waves together they can build up constructively,” Neil said. 

“Of course as it interacts with some of the more shallow coastal waters you can get some buildup of height there. It does take a good setup, but it isn’t out of the question.”

Southwestern Newfoundland was the area likely to see the highest waves and water levels during Sunday’s storm, according to Neil. As of Tuesday, he said, there had been no reports of major problems.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

Dorian kicks up behemoth 100-foot wave off Port aux Basques

Aggregated from: CBC | Newfoundland and Labrador News

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