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Otama Swell Statistics, July: All Swell – Any Wind

This chart illustrates the range of swells directed at Otama over a normal July. It is based on 2976 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the coast so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about Otama. In this particular case the best grid node is 32 km away (20 miles).

The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but without direction information. Five colours represent increasing wave sizes. Very small swells of less than 0.5m (1.5 feet) high are shown in blue. These were forecast 61% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red illustrates largest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell happens.

The diagram implies that the dominant swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was E, whereas the the most common wind blows from the WSW. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Otama and out to sea. We combine these 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 good for surfing at Otama, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical July, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Otama run for about 10% 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.