Army Beach Swell Statistics, January: Surf with Light or Offshore Winds
This image shows only the swells directed at Army Beach that coincided with light winds or offshore conditions through a typical January. It is based on 2372 predictions, one every 3 hours. The direction of the spokes show where quality surf generating swell comes from. Five colours illustrate increasing wave sizes. Blue shows the smallest swells, less that 0.5m (1.5 feet) high. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red illustrates biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In each 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 biggest spokes, was NW, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the ENE. The chart at the bottom shows the same thing but without direction information. For example, swells larger than 1.5 feet (0.5m) coincided with good wind conditions 30% of the time, equivalent to 9 days. Open sea swells exceeding >3m (>10ft) are unlikely to arise in a normal January but 14% of the time we expect swell in the range 2-3m (6.5-10ft) 14%, equivalent to (4 days). Taking into account the fraction of these swells that coincided with forecast offshore winds, and given the fact that Army Beach is exposed to open water swells, we estimate that clean surf can be found at Army Beach about 30% of the time and that surf is messed up by onshore wind 58% of the time. This is means that we expect 27 days with waves in a typical January, of which 9 days should be clean enough to surf.
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.