Pensacola beach Swell Statistics, September: All Swell – Any Wind
The rose diagram shows the combination of swells directed at Pensacola beach through an average September and is based upon 2157 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the shore so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about Pensacola beach, and at Pensacola beach the best grid node is 49 km away (30 miles).
The rose diagram illustrates the distribution of swell sizes and directions, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but without direction information. Five colours represent increasing wave sizes. Very small swells of less than 0.5m (1.5 feet) high are shown in blue. These were forecast 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 frequently that size swell was forecast.
The diagram suggests that the dominant swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was SSE, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the ESE. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Pensacola beach 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 graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Pensacola beach, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical September, swells large enough to cause surfable 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.