This image shows only the swells directed at Long Beach _5 that coincided with light winds or offshore conditions over a normal February and is based upon 1584 predictions, one every 3 hours. The direction of the spokes show where quality surf generating swell comes from. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red illustrates largest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell was forecast.
The diagram implies that the dominant swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was S, whereas the the most common wind blows from the NW. The chart at the bottom shows the same thing but without direction information. For example, swells larger than 1.5 feet (0.5m) coincided with good wind conditions 12% of the time, equivalent to 3 days. Open sea swells exceeding >3m (>10ft) are unlikely to occur in a normal February. Taking into account the fraction of these swells that coincided with forecast offshore winds, and given the fact that Long Beach _5 is exposed to open water swells, we calculate that clean surf can be found at Long Beach _5 about 12% of the time and that surf is spoilt by onshore wind 35% of the time. This is means that we expect 13 days with waves in a typical February, of which 3 days should be clean enough to surf.
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.