A mighty wave towering 62.3ft (19 metres) at a remote spot between Britain and Iceland has become the highest ever recorded.

Data from an automated buoy showed that it rose on Feb 4, 2013 in the North Atlantic, the World Meteorological Organization said.

"This is the first time we have ever measured a wave of 19 metres. It is a remarkable record," WMO's deputy chief Wenjian Zhang said.

Taller than a six-storey building, the wave occurred after a "very strong" cold front had barrelled through the area, producing winds up of 43.8 knots (50.4 miles an hour).


The previous record for the tallest wave was 18.3m, also in the North Atlantic in December 2007.

Automated buoys are vital tools for oceanographers, sending back data on sea currents, temperatures and swells for seafarers, climate researchers and others.

"We need high quality and extensive ocean records to help in our understanding of weather/ocean interactions," said Mr Zhang.

"Despite the huge strides in satellite technology, the sustained observations and data records from moored and drifting buoys and ships still play a major role in this respect."

The North Atlantic, from the Grand Banks underwater plateau off Canada to the south of Iceland and the west of Britain, creates more giant waves than anywhere else in the world.

During winter, wind circulation and atmospheric pressure cause intense extratropical storms, which are often dubbed "bombs", the WMO said.

The wave's height is defined as the distance from the crest of one wave to the trough of the next.

The UN agency occasionally reveals quirky weather-related milestones, such as its recent finding that a lightning flash in France in August 2012 was the longest-lasting bolt ever recorded.


This article was originally publish by The Telegraph.