Castles Swell Statistics, March: All Swell – Any Wind
This picture describes the variation of swells directed at Castles through a typical March, based on 1724 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the coast so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Castles, and at Castles the best grid node is 32 km away (20 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 36% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red represents highest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell occurs.
The diagram indicates that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was SE, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the WNW. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Castles and away from the coast. We lump these in 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 Castles, 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 March, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Castles run for about 64% 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.