Northeast Pacific

Swell, Northeast Pacific

Flight 41G; 36.6N, 129.8W, 22:35:16 GMT, 6 Oct 1984

In the Pacific Ocean north of the Hawaiian Islands, especially during the months between September and May, winds blowing around low-pressure systems produce long ocean swell. These are the waves that batter the west coast of North America and create the "pipeline," the surfers' delight on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii. Such long-period swell were continuously observed by the crew on the flight deck of the Challenger, usually through the numerous gaps in the widespread stratus cloud layers spun off from the North Pacific storms.

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