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Oilies Swell Statistics, Spring: All Swell – Any Wind

This image describes the combination of swells directed at Oilies over a normal southern hemisphere spring. It is based on 8724 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (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 Oilies. In the case of Oilies, the best grid node is 11 km away (7 miles).

The rose diagram describes the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but without direction information. Five colours illustrate increasing wave sizes. Blue shows the smallest swells, less that 0.5m (1.5 feet) high. These happened only 24% of the time. Green and yellow represent 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 most common swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was SE, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the NNE. 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 keep it simple we don't show these in the rose plot. 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 forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical southern hemisphere spring, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Oilies run for about 76% 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.