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Surf Break Rating

Rate Papatea Bay

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Papatea Bay Swell Statistics, March: 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 March. It is based on 2716 predictions, one every 3 hours. The direction of the spokes show where quality surf generating swell comes from. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red shows the largest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell occurs.

The diagram suggests that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was NNE, whereas the the most common wind blows from the ESE. 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 11% of the time, equivalent to 3 days. Open sea swells exceeding >3m (>10ft) are unlikely to happen in a normal March. Taking into account the proportion of these swells that coincided with forecast 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 11% of the time and that surf is messed up by onshore wind 21% of the time. This is means that we expect 10 days with waves in a typical March, of which 3 days should be clean enough to surf.

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.