Carnival Sunshine runs into large waves returning from Bahamas

The cruise ship Carnival Sunshine ran into some large waves churned up by a storm off the Southeast coast delaying its return from the Bahamas over the Memorial Day weekend.

NOAA WPC Surface Analysis

A low pressure system off the southeast US coast combined with strong high pressure to the north produced winds to 50 knots building seas to 24 feet (7.3 meters) north and west of the center.


NOAA ACCAT (Satellite derived winds)

Some of the strongest winds occured over the Gulf Stream and counter to the flow of the current. When ocean wind or swell waves encounter a current moving in the opposite direction, the response will be for wave speed and length to decrease, wave period will not change, but wave heights will increase, resulting in taller, steeper waves. In some cases, this can even lead to waves breaking, resulting in greater energy against vessel hulls.

Read more about high wind and wave events crossing the Gulf Stream

Ocean Weather Services 

About Fred Pickhardt

I am a marine meteorologist and sailed briefly with American Export Lines in the Far East trade after graduating from State University of New York Maritime College. I have extensive experience in weather analysis, weather forecasting, optimum ship routing, vessel performance evaluations and forensic weather event reconstructions. I founded Ocean Weather Services and as Owner and Chief Consultant currently provide optimum ship routing services and forensic marine weather reports to the maritime industry.
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