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Surf Break Rating

Rate Papatea Bay


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Papatea Bay Swell Statistics, January: Surf with Light or Offshore Winds

This image shows only the swells directed at Papatea Bay that coincided with light winds or offshore conditions through a typical January. It is based on 2620 predictions, one every 3 hours. The direction of the spokes show where quality surf generating swell comes from. Five colours illustrate increasing wave sizes. Blue shows the smallest swells, less that 0.5m (1.5 feet) high. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and biggest 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 happens.

The diagram implies that the most common swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was NNE, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the NW. The chart at the bottom shows the same thing but without direction information. For example, swells larger than 1.5 feet (0.5m) coincided with good wind conditions 14% of the time, equivalent to 4 days. Open sea swells exceeding >3m (>10ft) are unlikely to arise in a normal January but 5% of the time you can expect swell in the range 1.3-2m (4-6.5ft) 5%, equivalent to (2 days). Taking into account the ratio of these swells that coincided with predicted offshore winds, and given the fact that Papatea Bay is exposed to open water swells, we estimate that clean surf can be found at Papatea Bay about 14% of the time and that surf is spoilt by onshore wind 35% of the time. This is means that we expect 15 days with waves in a typical January, of which 4 days should be surfable.

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.