Fairlight Swell Statistics, March: All Swell – Any Wind
The figure shows the combination 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. In this particular case 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 56% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red shows the biggest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell happens.
The diagram suggests that the most common swell direction, shown by the largest 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 simplify things 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 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.