Spectacular storm strikes Europe - XXL waves recorded

Wimereux, France getting smashed : photo Reuters
Envisat measured wave heights along the storm's track

Evironment News
Severe storm strikes Western Europe in spectacular style Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 15 March, 2008 : - - An Atlantic storm smashed Southern Britain, North West France and Northern Spain last Monday. Two people were killed, a fishing trawler sank in the English Channel, a cargo vessel was blown aground on the French coast, with another going up on the rocks in Northern Spain and breaking in three. The storm began late on Sunday, the trawler from Port Saint-Brieuc in Brittany sank in winds of up to 130 km an hour off Guernsey in the Channel Islands. The crew of five were picked up by other fishing boats. The Dutch-registered cargo ship Artemis was blown onto a beach at the Atlantic French town of Les Sables d'Olonne. Power lines were downed and power was lost in Wales and France.
British coastguard tugs helped a 7,500-tonne tanker with 13 crew members on board which was drifting in high seas off the Isle of Wight and escorted it to Southampton. Hurricane-force winds in the English Channel forced the closure of the English port of Dover.
Wave buoys west of Ireland recorded 58 ft waves at 13h00 Monday Ė the sets left the recording chart at 62 feet, The wave buoy off France/Brittany showd wave heights of 45 feet at 13h00. The tow-in contingent hoped the Basque big wave spot Belharra may work on Tuesday. A lull in wind strength gave reason for optimism, however on Tuesday morning the wave was breaking on only the bigger sets.

Portcall Wales got a thrashing : phot Reuters

Seaford lighthouse UK receiving a smash : photo Reuters

Northern France getting hit : photo Reuters

Seaford lighthouse receives a big one : photo Reuters

MV Artemis at Sables d'Olonne : photo Surf-report.com

Longships lighthouse UK (see the lighthouse ?) : photo Sennen-Cove.com

MV Maro went ashore in Spain & broke in three : photo Reuters/Vincent West

The storm approaches the British Isles & Western Europe
Images courtesy bbc.com

0800 GMT / 09 March

11h00 GMT / 09 March

17h00 GMT / 09 March

21h00 GMT / 09 March

03h00 GMT / 10 March

07h00 GMT / 10 March
Check the full sequence and commentary at bbc.com

Significant wave heights measured by Envisat and Jason-1
Altimeters measured significant wave heights above 16 m.
The altimeter onboard Envisat measured significant wave heights above 16 m on March 10 at about 12 h. The day before, at about 20 h, Jason-1 measured heights over 14 m further West. At the same time, a buoy South of Ireland recorded 17.8 m. Such significant wave heights are comparable to what can be measured during tropical cyclones.

Wave heights measured by Envisat & Jason 1