Fairlight Swell Statistics, March: All Swell – Any Wind
The graph shows the range of swells directed at Fairlight through a typical March and is based upon 2220 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the shore so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Fairlight. In this particular case the best grid node is 43 km away (27 miles).
The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but without direction information. Five colours illustrate increasing wave sizes. Blue shows the smallest swells, less that 0.5m (1.5 feet) high. These occurred 53% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red illustrates 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 dominant swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was WSW, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the NW. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Fairlight and out to sea. We combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose plot. Because wind determines whether or not waves are good for surfing at Fairlight, 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 March, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Fairlight run for about 24% 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.