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Bolsa Chica ratings
Quality on a good day: 2.7
Consistency of Surf: 3.0
Difficulty Level: 2.0
Wind and Kite Surfing: 1.0
Crowds: 2.3

Overall: 3.1

See all 18 ratings

Based on 6 votes. Vote


Surf Report Feed

Bolsa Chica Swell Statistics, January: All Swell – Any Wind

The rose diagram describes the range of swells directed at Bolsa Chica over a normal January and is based upon 2868 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the coast so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about Bolsa Chica. In the case of Bolsa Chica, the best grid node is 23 km away (14 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 illustrate increasing wave sizes. Blue shows the smallest swells, less that 0.5m (1.5 feet) high. These happened 19% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red shows the highest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell occurs.

The diagram suggests that the most common swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was WSW, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the NNW. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Bolsa Chica and offshore. We lump these in with the no surf category of the bar chart. To avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Bolsa Chica, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical January, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Bolsa Chica run for about 3% 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.