Abalone Cove Swell Statistics, January: All Swell – Any Wind
The rose diagram describes the variation of swells directed at Abalone Cove over a normal January, based on 2372 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the coast so we have chosen the most applicable 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 but without direction information. Five colours represent increasing wave sizes. Very small swells of less than 0.5m (1.5 feet) high are shown in blue. These were forecast only 16% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red illustrates the highest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell occurs.
The diagram suggests that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was WSW, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the N. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Abalone Cove and offshore. We lump these in with the no surf category of the bar chart. To avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are surfable at Abalone Cove, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical January, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Abalone Cove run for about 6% 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.