Cliff Beach Swell Statistics, February: All Swell – Any Wind
The graph shows the range of swells directed at Cliff Beach through a typical February, based on 1584 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the coastline so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about Cliff Beach, and at Cliff Beach the best grid node is 25 km away (16 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 16% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red illustrates biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell occurs.
The diagram implies that the most common swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was WNW, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the SW. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Cliff Beach 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 diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are good for surfing at Cliff Beach, 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 February, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Cliff Beach run for about 84% 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.