Abalone Cove Swell Statistics, October: All Swell – Any Wind
This image illustrates the range of swells directed at Abalone Cove through an average October. It is based on 2480 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the coast so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Abalone Cove. In this particular case the best grid node is 29 km away (18 miles).
The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but lacks direction information. Five colours illustrate increasing wave sizes. Blue shows the smallest swells, less that 0.5m (1.5 feet) high. These happened only 5% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red represents the largest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell happens.
The diagram implies that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was SW, whereas the the most common wind blows from the W. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Abalone Cove and away from the coast. We lump these in with the no surf category of the bar chart. To keep it simple we don't show these in the rose graph. 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. In a typical October, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Abalone Cove run for about 0% 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.