This picture shows the range of swells directed at Buxton Point through an average southern hemisphere summer, based on 5048 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the shore so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about Buxton Point. In this particular case 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 without direction information. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. These occurred only 40% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red illustrates biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell was forecast.
The diagram indicates that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was ESE, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the NW. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Buxton Point 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 diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are good for surfing at Buxton Point, 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 southern hemisphere summer, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Buxton Point run for about 60% 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.