Forecasting Tutorial: Great circles

23 May 2007 0

By Oceanographer Daryll Strauss

It’s no secret that long period groundswells can cover vast distances with minimal loss of wave energy to produce large, well organised surf along a distant shoreline - often thousands of nautical miles from the swell source. What’s less understood is how groundswells propagate across the earth’s curved sea surface to arrive at destinations you wouldn’t necessarily expect when analysing a one dimensional weather chart or swell map.

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