Estimation and Classification of the Extreme Wind Waves on the ‎Basis of Visual Data

Grigorieva V., Gulev S.

For the first time the extreme waves in the ocean are studied using the most complete database of visual wave ‎observations, assimilated in the ICOADS (International Comprehensive Ocean Atmosphere Data Set) archive. ‎A new methodology for the data quality control and criteria for the classification of extreme wind waves and ‎swell was established. All visual observations reporting the wind wave height of 15 meters or more likely ‎indicate either actual severe storms (about 20% of the total number of cases), or observational artifacts. A ‎very small number of reported extreme swells can be potentially attributed to the freak waves.‎

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