Waves near the Cape Mendocino buoy usually average about 10 feet, SFGate.com reported, but on Nov. 26 the average height was about 43 feet. The largest wave, which occurred in the evening hours, reached 75 feet.
James Behrens, the manager for Scripp's Coastal Data Information Program, told the website that a wave of that size to occur so close to land is extremely rare.
"The only other station in the network that measured a wave this large is deployed 800 miles off the coast of Washington,” he said.
The "bomb cyclone" hit northern California and southern Oregon during one of the busiest travel times of the year. The storm brought powerful wind gusts and larger-than-normal waves along the coast.
A "bomb cyclone" forms when air pressure drops by 24 millibars or more in a 24-hour period.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.