In Photos: Monster Waves

Harsh Conditions

(Image credit: Office of NOAA Corps Operations)

A NOAA ship in an intense storm and wild waters off the coast of North Carolina.

Commotion in the Ocean

(Image credit: Commander John Bortniak, NOAA Corps)

Monster waves slam into the Albatross IV ship. The photo was captured in May 1984.

Joy Ride

(Image credit: Commander John Bortniak, NOAA Corps)

Rough waves pound the Delaware II.

Raging Waters

(Image credit: NOAA Photo Library, NOAA Central Library; Lieutenant Commander Michael Abbott, NOAA Corps)

NOAA ship Fairweather crossing the Gulf of Alaska gets slammed by the raging sea in this photo taken in 1985.

Ship Over Troubled Water

(Image credit: Krister Brzezinski/Mariners Weather Log)

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.

In Too Deep

(Image credit: Krister Brzezinski/Mariners Weather Log)

Destructive waves from tropical storm Georgette slam into the Winter Water ship, on July 28, 1980.


(Image credit: Image Courtesy of NOAA Photo Library)

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

rogue wave hits boat off Alaska

(Image credit: Captain Roger Wilson, NOAA National Weather Service Collection)

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.

Towering over Oregon

monster waves over oregon coast

(Image credit: NOAA)

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.

Columbia River Bar

Columbia River Bar, Oregon, monster waves

(Image credit: NOAA)

In January 2006, waves at Columbia River Bar in Oregon reached an average height of 20 feet.