Clifton Beach Swell Statistics, November: All Swell – Any Wind
This image illustrates the combination of swells directed at Clifton Beach through an average November. It is based on 2147 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 Clifton Beach. In this particular case 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 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 were forecast only 32% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red shows largest 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 biggest spokes, was SSW, whereas the the most common 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 combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Clifton Beach, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical November, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Clifton Beach run for about 55% 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.