Lab 6.4 – Investigating Other Wave Events

Fundamental concept: Identify values of meteorological and oceanographic variables in relation to storm events
Estimated time to complete: 30 minutes
Data skills preparation: Lab 2.1 – Time series
Materials needed: none

In Labs 6.1 and 6.2 you saw that local atmospheric conditions can change quickly and this can lead to rapid changes in wave height. Here your objective is to examine data over a 1-month time period to investigate how/when wave height is related to local atmospheric conditions.

Atmospheric Pressure and Wind Speed

Application Questions:

  1. Do you see the same relationships between atmospheric pressure and wind speed that you saw from the single storm event in the first labs?
  2. Based on changes in atmospheric pressure and wind speed from the graph, identify three time periods when you would expect to see increases in wave height.
  3. Based on the relationship you found between wind speed and wave height in the previous exercise, when do you expect to see the largest wave height in the month of February?


Wave Height and Wind Speed


  1. Compare the measured wave height to the three time periods you predicted would be greatest. How do they agree/disagree with your predictions?
  2. Was your prediction of when the largest wave height would occur correct?
  3. If there are time periods with large wave height that you did not predict, what do you think caused those waves? Where do you think they were generated?


Reflection Question:

  1. Waves are a potential source of renewable energy. How do you think the amount of wave energy a system could harness would change during this week?