Orakawa Swell Statistics, November: All Swell – Any Wind
The graph shows the range of swells directed at Orakawa through a typical November. It is based on 2147 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the coast so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about Orakawa. In the case of Orakawa, the best grid node is 43 km away (27 miles).
The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but without direction information. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. These were forecast 34% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell happens.
The diagram suggests that the most common swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was ENE, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the W. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Orakawa and away from the coast. We group these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To simplify things we don't show these in the rose graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are good for surfing at Orakawa, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average November, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Orakawa run for about 15% 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.