Waves breaking as seen from a porthole on the Nathaniel B. Palmer, as it was crossing the Southern Ocean in October 1998.
NOAA Ship Discoverer gets pounded by waves in the Bering Sea. This picture was taken in 1979.
Mike Parsons of San Clemente, Calif., successfully negotiates a 60-foot wave at Cortes Bank, located 100 miles off the California coast, in January 2001.
Waves crash over the sea wall in Winthrop, Mass., Saturday, Jan. 4, 2003.
Spectators flee as huge waves of the Qiantangjiang River approach in east China's Zhejiang Province Sunday, Sept. 8, 2002. Huge tides occurred as Typhoon Sinlaku swept the southern part of the East China Sea with the maximum wind force of 40 yards (meters) per second.
In this photo taken by tourist Eric Skitzi from England, tourists watch as tsunami waves hit the shore from a safe place inside Casuarina Beach Hotel resort in Penang, northwestern Malaysia on Sunday, Dec. 26, 2004 as the greatest tsunami in recent history came ashore. The resort hotel lifeguards noticed waves were huge and sounded warning to all tourists around the hotel beach area to run to the safety area.
Waves crash on the breakwater at Marquette Harbor in this undated photo.
High winds generate large waves on Lake Erie, in this photo taken on October 30, 1996.
Sixteen feet of storm surge struck the Florida Panhandle during Hurricane Eloise. Photo was taken on Sept. 23, 1975.
Big waves approach the shores in Waimea Bay in Haleiwa, Hawaii.
A NOAA ship in an intense storm and wild waters off the coast of North Carolina.
Monster waves slam into the Albatross IV ship. The photo was captured in May 1984.
Rough waves pound the Delaware II.
NOAA ship Fairweather crossing the Gulf of Alaska gets slammed by the raging sea in this photo taken in 1985.
The waters were rough, as a result of tropical storm Georgette, causing high waves to crash inside the Winter Water ship. The photo was taken on July 28, 1980.
Destructive waves from tropical storm Georgette slam into the Winter Water ship, on July 28, 1980.
Waves striking seawall give appearance of geysers erupting. Photo was taken in 1938 off of the New England coast during the approach of an intense hurricane.
Rogue wave reaching a height of 60-foot plus hit a tanker headed south from Valdez, Alaska, in February 1993. The ship was running in about 25-foot seas when a monster wave struck it broadside on the starboard side.
In 1997-98, the Oregon Coast experienced a series of waves 33 feet and higher. Those came during an El Niño year, when waters near the equator in the Pacific are warmer and waves higher.
In January 2006, waves at Columbia River Bar in Oregon reached an average height of 20 feet.
Shown above is an artist's rendition of "safe" people in high-rise observing storm surge.