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Maraenui Swell Statistics, February: All Swell – Any Wind

The figure illustrates the variation of swells directed at Maraenui through an average February, based on 2664 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the coast so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about Maraenui. In the case of Maraenui, the best grid node is 45 km away (28 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 show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. These occurred only 43% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red represents largest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell happens.

The diagram implies that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was NNE, whereas the the most common wind blows from the NE. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Maraenui and away from the coast. We lump these in with the no surf category of the bar chart. To keep it simple we don't show these in the rose graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Maraenui, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical February, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Maraenui run for about 22% 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.