Aberdeen Swell Statistics, January: All Swell – Any Wind
This picture illustrates the range of swells directed at Aberdeen through a typical January, based on 2372 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the coast so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Aberdeen. In this particular case the best grid node is 20 km away (12 miles).
The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell sizes and directions, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing 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 50% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red illustrates largest 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 most common swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was SE, whereas the the most common wind blows from the SW. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Aberdeen and out to sea. We lump these in with the no surf category of the bar chart. To avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are surfable at Aberdeen, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average January, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Aberdeen run for about 50% 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.