Fairlight Swell Statistics, March: All Swell – Any Wind
The graph shows the variation of swells directed at Fairlight through an average March and is based upon 1724 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 shows the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing without direction information. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. These occurred 56% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. 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 largest spokes, was WSW, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the NW. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Fairlight and offshore. 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 Fairlight, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical 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.