Big Waves in the Bay


The Jason Satellite used radar pulses to measure 36-to-38 foot waves with accuracy up to 1.5 inches.

By: Colby Nicholson

Powerful storms waged against the west coast’s Sonoma and Monterey counties this week. The National Weather Service issued a warning Sunday afternoon: “HIGH SURF WARNING continues in effect along the coast from Sonoma County through Monterey County 9 AM Sun to 9 PM Mon. STAY WELL BACK FROM THE OCEAN OR RISK CERTAIN DEATH”.

These waves were observed as early as thursday where researchers in Bodega Bay and Point Reyes noted 22-to-24 foot surges around 8 am. West and Northwest facing beaches like Ocean Beach in SF are among places that were threatened by waves with up to 40 foot faces. Caused by a low pressure system off the NW coast of Canada, strong winds generated these massive waves on the California coast.

These wave heights were measured by the National Weather Service’s  Jason satellite mission. The Jason Satellite used radar pulses to measure 36-to-38 foot waves with accuracy up to 1.5 inches.

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