A rogue wave is, according to NOAA, "a large, unexpected and dangerous" oceanic wave. These are also known as 'killer' or 'freak' waves and have been a part of folklore of the past and observation of the present - such as in the rather terrifying example below (from gcaptain.com:
Caption: A wall of water approaches the Stolt Surf in Oct. 1977 Photo: Karsten Petersen, www.global-mariner.com
There are a number of theories as to how these form, according to the NOAA page linked above, it can be a result of constructive interference or focusing of wave energy. Another theory reported in the Scientific American Blog entry from 2009 The Real Sea Monsters: On the Hunt for Rogue Waves is that
"If a wave propagates from east to west, and the current moves west to east, then a wave starts to build up," says Wu, who studies wave–current interactions in a 15-meter pool. The wave basically climbs the current's wall, rising out of what appears to be nowhere.
This question is not so much based on the actual mechanism behind rogue waves, but how we can use these models to forecast their occurrence, going from the theoretical models discussed in the Scientific American blog to develop actual proven forecast models.
What is the status of research in forecasting oceanic rogue waves?