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56th St ratings
Quality on a good day: 3.0
Consistency of Surf: 5.0
Difficulty Level: 3.0
Crowds: 3.0

Overall: 3.8

See all 18 ratings

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Surf Report Feed

56th St Swell Statistics, October: All Swell – Any Wind

This picture illustrates the variation of swells directed at 56th St through an average October, based on 2976 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the shore so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about 56th St. In the case of 56th St, the best grid node is 15 km away (9 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 illustrate increasing wave sizes. Blue shows the smallest swells, less that 0.5m (1.5 feet) high. These were forecast only 5% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red illustrates the largest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell was forecast.

The diagram suggests that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was SW, whereas the the most common wind blows from the W. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from 56th St and away from the coast. We lump these in with the no surf category of the bar chart. To simplify things we don't show these in the rose graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at 56th St, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical October, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at 56th St run for about 95% 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.