The Daytona Beach Wave of 3–4 July 1992: A Shallow-Water Gravity Wave Forced by a Propagating Squall Line

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An unexpected run-up of the ocean along Daytona Beach, Florida, on 3–4 July 1992 was associated with at least one large ocean wave. The wave, which reached a height of about 3 m above normal tide, injured 75 people and damaged property along Daytona Beach. Analyses of meteorological and oceanographic observations are consistent with the hypothesis that a squall line generated a long water wave. The critical evidence is that the propagation speed of the squall line matched the shallow-water wave speed that prevailed along the direction of motion of the squall line. The squall line exerted force on the ocean for at least 3 h. The issues of recurrence and public safety are discussed.

*Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, Florida.

+Hurricane Research Division, Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratories, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, Miami, Florida.

**Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

Corresponding author address: Dean D. Churchill, Division of Meteorology and Physical Science, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL33149-1098.

An unexpected run-up of the ocean along Daytona Beach, Florida, on 3–4 July 1992 was associated with at least one large ocean wave. The wave, which reached a height of about 3 m above normal tide, injured 75 people and damaged property along Daytona Beach. Analyses of meteorological and oceanographic observations are consistent with the hypothesis that a squall line generated a long water wave. The critical evidence is that the propagation speed of the squall line matched the shallow-water wave speed that prevailed along the direction of motion of the squall line. The squall line exerted force on the ocean for at least 3 h. The issues of recurrence and public safety are discussed.

*Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, Florida.

+Hurricane Research Division, Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratories, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, Miami, Florida.

**Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

Corresponding author address: Dean D. Churchill, Division of Meteorology and Physical Science, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL33149-1098.
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