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Inskip Point Swell Statistics, May: All Swell – Any Wind

The figure shows the combination of swells directed at Inskip Point through a typical May and is based upon 2838 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (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 Inskip Point, and at Inskip Point the best grid node is 48 km away (30 miles).

The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell sizes and directions, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but lacks 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 were forecast only 57% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red shows the biggest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell occurs.

The diagram indicates that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was E, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the SSE. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Inskip Point and away from the coast. We lump these in with the no surf category of the bar chart. To avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose plot. Because wind determines whether or not waves are surfable at Inskip Point, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average May, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Inskip Point run for about 43% 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.

FEATURE UPDATE: we now show red swell icons for 'open sea' swells that are travelling in an unfavourable direction for the surf break. In places, these swells may still wrap around coastlines and produce smaller waves at some breaks. They are also significant for windsurfers and other water users that tend to venture further off-shore.