Ahh, Silleiro waves.

Hello All-

This is Melissa and Dani from the Waves group.  For the past week we have been trying to have a better understanding of wave patterns (direction, velocity and waveheight) and the relationship between waves and winds.

We have been using the Puertos del Estados website to view archived data.  In particular, we have been using their Cabo Silleiro Buoy located at 42.130º N and 9.39º W.  Cabo Silleiro is a deep water buoy that have been measuring wave velocities and periods since 1998 and wave direction since 2003.  At 9º W, this buoy is the closest buoy to Scarlet's "finish line".

Spain deep water buoys

Spain deep water buoys

Though there are many buoy stations, we chose to investigate Cabo Silleiro because it is the closest buoy to Scarlet's finish.

We've been researching November and December wave and wind patterns from 1999 to 2008.  When we got together we looked at the maximum wave heights of all years looking for a distinct pattern.  December's wave heights ranged from 10 to 15 m (2006 had the highest with 15m, 2001 with the lowest at 7m), but November's wave heights were quite random (2001 had the lowest with 5m, and 2002 and 2003 had 14m).

Rather than relying on extremes, we started looking at tables such as the ones below to see the percentage of waves with a given period, direction or wave heights (the ranges are from zero to greater than six meters):


These are the percentages of waves at a given height going in a direction. This is example of what we use to understand November and December wave patterns better.

The more we research, however, the more we realize how random these waves are.  The wind archived data only helps so much; although wave and wind archived data correlate sometimes, we cannot limit our research to surface waves but to deep water waves (which Cabo Silliero measures).  Therefore, we need to look at archived weather data and check for storms, etc.

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