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Cape Mendocino ratings
Quality on a good day: 2.0
Consistency of Surf: 3.0
Difficulty Level: 4.0
Crowds: 3.0

Overall: 3.3

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Surf Report Feed

Cape Mendocino Swell Statistics, October: All Swell – Any Wind

The rose diagram shows the range of swells directed at Cape Mendocino through a typical October. It is based on 2480 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the coastline so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about Cape Mendocino, and at Cape Mendocino the best grid node is 13 km away (8 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 represent increasing wave sizes. Very small swells of less than 0.5m (1.5 feet) high are shown in blue. These happened only 72% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red represents the biggest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell was forecast.

The diagram suggests that the most common swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was WSW, 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 Cape Mendocino and out to sea. We combine 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 Cape Mendocino, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average October, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Cape Mendocino run for about 28% 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.