Scarborough Beach Swell Statistics, Summer: All Swell – Any Wind
This chart shows the range of swells directed at Scarborough Beach through a typical northern hemisphere summer and is based upon 5802 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the shore so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about Scarborough Beach, and at Scarborough Beach the best grid node is 25 km away (16 miles).
The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but without direction information. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. These occurred 20% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red shows the biggest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell happens.
The diagram indicates that the most common swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was SE, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the SW. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Scarborough 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 graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are good for surfing at Scarborough Beach, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average northern hemisphere summer, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Scarborough Beach run for about 80% 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.