Box Beach Swell Statistics, February: All Swell – Any Wind
The figure illustrates the range of swells directed at Box Beach through an average February, based on 1584 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the shore so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about Box Beach. In this particular case the best grid node is 34 km away (21 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 were forecast only 14% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red illustrates the largest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell happens.
The diagram suggests that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was SE, whereas the the most common wind blows from the E. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Box Beach and out to sea. We group these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To simplify things we don't show these in the rose graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are good for surfing at Box Beach, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical February, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Box 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.