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Swell of 1969


Benchmark big-wave swell, sometimes referred to as the "swell of the century," producing monstrous waves in Hawaii and the West Coast during the first week of December 1969. Meteorologists later determined that the weather during the winter of 1969-70 was affected by a relatively weak El Niño, the mid-Pacific ocean-warming phenomenon that tends to produce bigger, stronger open-ocean storms.

The Swell of 1969 was in fact the peak event in a wave season filled with a disproportionately high nu...