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Imperial Beach ratings
Quality on a good day: 3.0
Consistency of Surf: 3.7
Difficulty Level: 2.7
Wind and Kite Surfing: 3.6
Crowds: 3.7

Overall: 3.6

See all 18 ratings

Based on 7 votes. Vote


Surf Report Feed

Imperial Beach Swell Statistics, October: All Swell – Any Wind

The rose diagram illustrates the range of swells directed at Imperial Beach over a normal October and is based upon 2480 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the shore so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about Imperial Beach. In this particular case the best grid node is 36 km away (22 miles).

The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but lacks direction information. Five colours illustrate increasing wave sizes. Blue shows the smallest swells, less that 0.5m (1.5 feet) high. These happened only 6% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and largest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell happens.

The diagram implies that the dominant swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was SW, whereas the the most common wind blows from the WNW. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Imperial Beach and out to sea. We group these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To keep it simple we don't show these in the rose plot. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Imperial Beach, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical October, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Imperial Beach run for about 94% 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.