Aligator Rock Swell Statistics, September: All Swell – Any Wind
The rose diagram illustrates the range of swells directed at Aligator Rock through a typical September. It is based on 2400 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the shore so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Aligator Rock. In the case of Aligator Rock, the best grid node is 42 km away (26 miles).
The rose diagram describes the distribution of swell sizes and directions, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but lacks direction information. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. These were forecast only 64% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and largest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell happens.
The diagram indicates that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was NNW, whereas the the most common wind blows from the E. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Aligator Rock and offshore. We combine these 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 good for surfing at Aligator Rock, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average September, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Aligator Rock run for about 36% 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.