Pensacola beach Swell Statistics, September: All Swell – Any Wind
This chart shows the combination of swells directed at Pensacola beach through an average September, based on 1917 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the coast so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about Pensacola beach. In this particular case the best grid node is 49 km away (30 miles).
The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, 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 happened 53% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red shows biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell happens.
The diagram indicates that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was SSE, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the ESE. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Pensacola beach and out to sea. We lump these in 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 surfable at Pensacola beach, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical September, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Pensacola beach run for about 47% 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.