The content of this website is no longer being updated. For information on current assessment activities, please visit

Higher Waves along U.S. East Coast Linked to Hurricanes

TitleHigher Waves along U.S. East Coast Linked to Hurricanes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsKomar, P. D., and J. C. Allan
JournalEOS Transactions of the American Geophysical Union
KeywordsAtmospheric Processes: Turbulence (4490), Atmospheric Processes: Tropical meteorology, Oceanography: Physical: Surface waves and tides

cean wave heights measured by buoys along the U.S. Atlantic coast document an increase during the summer months when hurricanes are most important to wave generation. Wave heights greater than 3 meters, which can be attributed to specific hurricanes, have increased on average by 0.7-1.8 meters in the past 30 years, with the southernmost buoy that is offshore of Charleston, S.C., experiencing the highest rate of increase. The most extreme hourly averaged wave heights generated by major hurricanes have increased from about 7 meters early in the records of the buoys to more than 10 meters during the most recent decade. This increase in wave heights can be attributed in large part to a progressive intensification of the hurricanes, which Emanuel [2005] has documented through his analyses of hurricane wind speeds.

DOIDOI: 10.1029/2007EO300001
Reference number


Short TitleHigher Waves along U.S. East Coast Linked to Hurricanes
Citation Key388