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Motunau Beach ratings
Quality on a good day: 3.0
Consistency of Surf: 3.0
Crowds: 4.0

Overall: 3.2

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Surf Report Feed

Motunau Beach Swell Statistics, January: All Swell – Any Wind

The figure describes the variation of swells directed at Motunau Beach through an average January. It is based on 2620 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the shore so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about Motunau Beach, and at Motunau Beach the best grid node is 35 km away (22 miles).

The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, 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 were forecast only 43% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red represents the highest 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 most common swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was SSE, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the NNE. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Motunau Beach 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 plot. Because wind determines whether or not waves are good for surfing at Motunau Beach, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical January, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Motunau Beach run for about 57% 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.