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Outer Cotton Swell Statistics, September: All Swell – Any Wind

This image illustrates the range of swells directed at Outer Cotton over a normal September. It is based on 2880 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the coastline so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Outer Cotton, and at Outer Cotton the best grid node is 30 km away (19 miles).

The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell sizes and directions, 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 occurred only 0% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and largest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell was forecast.

The diagram suggests that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was S, whereas the the most common wind blows from the SW. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Outer Cotton and away from the coast. 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 Outer Cotton, 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 September, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Outer Cotton run for about 100% 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.