Nootka Island Swell Statistics, All Year: All Swell – Any Wind
The figure illustrates the variation of swells directed at Nootka Island through an average year. It is based on 28044 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the coastline so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Nootka Island. In this particular case the best grid node is 35 km away (22 miles).
The rose diagram describes the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing without 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 occurred only 9% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red represents the largest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell happens.
The diagram indicates that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was WSW, whereas the the most common wind blows from the SW. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Nootka Island and offshore. We group these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are surfable at Nootka Island, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical year, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Nootka Island run for about 78% 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.