Do you remember that nasty winter storm that slammed the West Coast right before Thanksgiving?
Well it turns out this historic storm did more than just disrupt holiday travel. It set new records for the highest wave and lowest pressure in California.
Last Tuesday, the largest significant wave heights on record registered at two buoy stations off the Northern California coast.
And the storm also set all-time marks for the lowest pressure along the way.
The Mendocino buoy now holds clai to the largest significant wave height measured by any active CDIP buoy in California waters at 43.1 feet. This is only bested by an open-ocean South Pacific CDIP buoy that sniffed 50 feet back in 2012.
To the northeast off Eureka, CDIP’s Humboldt Bay, North Spit buoy recorded its own record significant wave height at 37.6 feet.
Even more eye-popping, a single wave was measured at 74.5 feet that same night at the Mendocino buoy.
So… How Would This Happen?
Last Tuesday, Nov. 26, a rather innocuous cut-off low pressure system underwent bombogenesis, rapidly intensifying into a 970mb low as it charged the Oregon and Northern California coast.
The storm made landfall near the California and Oregon border late Tuesday night, bringing sustained hurricane-force winds into the coast with gusts topping 90 knots at Cape Blanco, Oregon.
While the other buoy records were set, at the same time, on land in Crescent City, a preliminary all-time lowest sea level pressure ever measured in California was set at 973mb.
The OR/CA storm peaked pressure-wise with a central pressure of 970 hPa/28.64" at 7 pm PST before slowly weakening. Here are its impacts thus far: pic.twitter.com/U4uHH0CBVW— NWS WPC (@NWSWPC) November 27, 2019
Meanwhile, another winter storm is heading towards North California and will dump feet of snow on the Sierra and the Lake Tahoe resorts this weekend. Be ready for another round of traffic chaos. [Surfline]