Abalone Cove Swell Statistics, February: All Swell – Any Wind
The graph describes the combination of swells directed at Abalone Cove through a typical February. It is based on 2102 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the shore so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about Abalone Cove. In the case of Abalone Cove, the best grid node is 29 km away (18 miles).
The rose diagram illustrates the distribution of swell sizes and directions, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing without direction information. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. These happened only 13% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red shows highest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell happens.
The diagram suggests that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was WSW, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the NW. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Abalone Cove and out to sea. We combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To keep it simple we don't show these in the rose plot. Because wind determines whether or not waves are surfable at Abalone Cove, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average February, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Abalone Cove run for about 4% of the time.
IMPORTANT: Beta version feature! Swell heights are open water values from NWW3. There is no attempt to model near-shore effects. Coastal wave heights will generally be less, especially if the break does not have unobstructed exposure to the open ocean.