Pacific Beach Pier Swell Statistics, October: All Swell – Any Wind
The graph describes the combination of swells directed at Pacific Beach Pier over a normal October and is based upon 1984 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the coastline so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Pacific Beach Pier, and at Pacific Beach Pier the best grid node is 32 km away (20 miles).
The rose diagram illustrates the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but lacks direction information. Five colours illustrate increasing wave sizes. Blue shows the smallest swells, less that 0.5m (1.5 feet) high. These occurred only 4% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red shows the highest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell occurs.
The diagram indicates that the dominant swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was SW, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the WNW. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Pacific Beach Pier and away from the coast. 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 clean enough to surf at Pacific Beach Pier, 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 October, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Pacific Beach Pier run for about 96% 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.