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Rate Papatea Bay


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Papatea Bay Swell Statistics, March: All Swell – Any Wind

The figure illustrates the combination of swells directed at Papatea Bay over a normal March. It is based on 2964 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the coastline so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about Papatea Bay, and at Papatea Bay the best grid node is 22 km away (14 miles).

The rose diagram describes the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing without direction information. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. These were forecast only 69% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red shows largest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, 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 most common wind blows from the ESE. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Papatea Bay and offshore. We combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To keep it simple we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are surfable at Papatea Bay, 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 March, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Papatea Bay run for about 31% 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.