Scarborough Beach Swell Statistics, March: All Swell – Any Wind
The figure illustrates the range of swells directed at Scarborough Beach through an average March and is based upon 2220 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the coastline so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Scarborough Beach. In the case of Scarborough Beach, the best grid node is 25 km away (16 miles).
The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell sizes and directions, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing 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 occurred 41% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red shows the largest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell happens.
The diagram suggests that the dominant swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was SE, whereas the the most common wind blows from the WNW. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Scarborough Beach and away from the coast. We lump these in with the no surf category of the bar chart. To keep it simple we don't show these in the rose plot. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Scarborough Beach, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical March, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Scarborough Beach run for about 59% 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.