Nootka Island Swell Statistics, All Year: All Swell – Any Wind
This picture describes the combination of swells directed at Nootka Island through an average year and is based upon 23151 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the coast so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Nootka Island, and at Nootka Island the best grid node is 35 km away (22 miles).
The rose diagram describes the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, 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 8% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red shows highest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell occurs.
The diagram implies that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was WSW, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the SW. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Nootka Island and out to sea. We combine these 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 clean enough to surf at Nootka Island, you can view an alternative 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 surfable waves at Nootka Island run for about 79% 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.