Fairlight Swell Statistics, March: All Swell – Any Wind
The graph illustrates the variation of swells directed at Fairlight through a typical March. It is based on 2220 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 Fairlight, and at Fairlight the best grid node is 43 km away (27 miles).
The rose diagram illustrates the distribution of swell sizes and directions, 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 occurred 53% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red represents the largest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, 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 most common wind blows from the NW. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Fairlight and away from the coast. We lump these in 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 Fairlight, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average March, swells large enough to cause surfable 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.