The study of waves is one of the tasks of oceanologists.
The waves that hit the shore are studied in the traditional way - on the shore or in the surf zone, they put slats, which can be used to determine the wave height. An observer with a stopwatch measures the intervals between the waves, as well as their amplitude (height). There are also sensors that measure how hard a wave hits a rock or a quay wall.
And there is also the study of waves directly in the ocean. The peak of these studies fell on the 70-80s of the twentieth century - then measurements were carried out from airplanes and from ships.
The planes flew over the sea and using radars operating on the echo sounder principle, recorded the height of the wave - measuring the distance from the plane to the surface of the water.
Research ships, equipped for measurement tasks, walked up and down the waves during the storm. This was necessary in order to derive formulas - using the formulas, knowing the wind speed, it is possible to determine which wave is theoretically possible at such a speed and in which direction it will move.
These formulas were successfully derived, and now such large-scale studies at sea are no longer carried out - only locally, when, for example, it is planned to place an oil rig on the shelf.
Now, based on these formulas, models have been created that predict the weather at sea. Vessels sailing in Antarctic waters receive warnings based on this data and try to stay out of the storm's epicenter. And in general, it is difficult to bypass a storm on the way to Antarctica: in the "roaring forties - violent fifties" – in the space between 40° and 50° latitude in the Southern Hemisphere – there are very strong winds, that cause frequent storms.