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Monday, January 14, 2013

WHAT IS A ROGUE WAVE?

The following is copied from an article by Tom Macsweeney in Ireland's boating and sailing magazine's blog Afloat :
WHAT IS A ROGUE WAVE?
When news reports quote "rogue waves" what does that mean? What exactly is a "rogue wave?"
They are not as prevalent as media reports would indicate. A "rogue wave" can be twice as high as the highest waves normally seen in an ocean area under a given set of weather and sea conditions. "Rogue waves" have been part of maritime folklore for centuries, but their existence in reality is less proven.
The first "proof" was in 1996 when a 25 metre wave (about 75/80 feet) was recorded in the North Sea.
The question the article posted is still an un-answered one or it's a question that's still without a satisfactorily answer.  I am rather pleased to see that someone still pops up to ask this question.  The first line of this brief paragraph elaborates the question into two more:  When news reports quote "rogue waves" what does that mean? and What exactly is a "rogue wave?"  These are two good questions that have been my own that I would like to ask from time to time! But there will be no easy answer to them!

The seemingly answer the article provided is not at all satisfactory.  The first statement "They are not as prevalent as media reports would indicate." is debatable!  As a matter of fact, it could be very prevalent out there in the open ocean, just no one encounters it so no one knows. not "prevalent"? hardly! We just do NOT know!  A tree falls in the forest with no one around, did it make a sound?  A freaque wave occurs in the open ocean with no one around, did it happen?

The article proceeds next to give the standard, ad-hoc definition of freaque waves the academic community used widely, but with that definition we still don't know what is a freaque wave or whether or not it has happened.  When a news report reports about a freaque wave we still don't know what exactly has happened!!!

All in all it's a very good question to ask, still no one can answer it yet, but it does not precludes us from asking them from time to time!


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