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Oilies Swell Statistics, April: All Swell – Any Wind

The graph describes the variation of swells directed at Oilies over a normal April and is based upon 2880 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (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 Oilies. In the case of Oilies, the best grid node is 11 km away (7 miles).

The rose diagram describes the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing without direction information. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. These happened only 10% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red shows the highest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell happens.

The diagram implies that the most common swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was SE, 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 Oilies and out to sea. We combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To simplify things we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are good for surfing at Oilies, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical April, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Oilies run for about 90% 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.