Arawhata Swell Statistics, All Year: All Swell – Any Wind
This image shows the range of swells directed at Arawhata over a normal year, based on 26684 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 Arawhata. In the case of Arawhata, the best grid node is 27 km away (17 miles).
The rose diagram describes the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but lacks 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 occurred only 16% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red illustrates the biggest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell was forecast.
The diagram suggests that the dominant swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was WSW, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the W. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Arawhata and offshore. We group these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To keep it simple we don't show these in the rose plot. Because wind determines whether or not waves are good for surfing at Arawhata, 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 year, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Arawhata run for about 84% 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.