Clifton Beach Swell Statistics, November: All Swell – Any Wind
The graph describes the range of swells directed at Clifton Beach through a typical November. It is based on 2387 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the shore so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about Clifton Beach, and at Clifton Beach the best grid node is 56 km away (35 miles).
The rose diagram illustrates the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, 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 happened only 30% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red represents the highest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell happens.
The diagram indicates that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was SSW, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the WSW. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Clifton Beach 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 Clifton Beach, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average November, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Clifton Beach run for about 58% 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.