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Ocean Reach Swell Statistics, August: All Swell – Any Wind

The rose diagram describes the range of swells directed at Ocean Reach through an average August. It is based on 2976 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 most applicable grid node based on what we know about Ocean Reach. In this particular case the best grid node is 28 km away (17 miles).

The rose diagram describes the distribution of swell sizes and directions, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing without 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 4% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red illustrates highest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell happens.

The diagram indicates that the dominant swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was SW, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the WNW. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Ocean Reach and away from the coast. We lump these in 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 clean enough to surf at Ocean Reach, 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 August, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Ocean Reach run for about 64% 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.