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Onekaka Swell Statistics, January: All Swell – Any Wind

This picture describes the range of swells directed at Onekaka over a normal January and is based upon 2868 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the coastline so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Onekaka, and at Onekaka the best grid node is 37 km away (23 miles).

The rose diagram illustrates the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, 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 occurred only 97% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and highest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell was forecast.

The diagram implies that the dominant swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was E, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the WNW. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Onekaka and offshore. We lump these in with the no surf category of the bar chart. To keep it simple we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are good for surfing at Onekaka, 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 January, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Onekaka run for about 3% 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.