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Cortez Bank ratings
Quality on a good day: 5.0
Consistency of Surf: 3.0
Difficulty Level: 4.0
Crowds: 4.0

Overall: 3.4

See all 18 ratings

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Surf Report Feed

Cortez Bank Swell Statistics, October: All Swell – Any Wind

The graph shows the combination of swells directed at Cortez Bank through a typical October. It is based on 2976 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 Cortez Bank. In this particular case the best grid node is 16 km away (10 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 14% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red shows biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell occurs.

The diagram suggests that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was W, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the NW. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Cortez Bank and away from the coast. We combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To keep it simple we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Cortez Bank, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average October, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Cortez Bank run for about 86% 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.