Army Beach Swell Statistics, February: All Swell – Any Wind
The graph shows the combination of swells directed at Army Beach through a typical February and is based upon 2102 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the shore so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about Army Beach. In the case of Army Beach, the best grid node is 32 km away (20 miles).
The rose diagram describes the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing without 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 show increasing swell sizes and biggest 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 was forecast.
The diagram indicates that the most common swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was NW, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the ENE. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Army Beach and out to sea. 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 Army Beach, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average February, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Army Beach 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.