Apache Pier Swell Statistics, May: All Swell – Any Wind
The rose diagram describes the combination of swells directed at Apache Pier through a typical May. It is based on 2200 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the coastline so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Apache Pier, and at Apache Pier the best grid node is 39 km away (24 miles).
The rose diagram illustrates the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, 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 occurred only 14% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red shows highest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell was forecast.
The diagram implies that the dominant swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was SSE, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the S. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Apache Pier and away from the coast. We combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To simplify things we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are surfable at Apache Pier, 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 May, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Apache Pier run for about 86% 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.