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Tahunanui Beach Swell Statistics, February: All Swell – Any Wind

The graph shows the variation of swells directed at Tahunanui Beach over a normal February and is based upon 2208 NWW3 model predictions since 2009 (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 Tahunanui Beach. In this particular case the best grid node is 38 km away (24 miles).

The rose diagram describes 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 happened 63% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red shows the biggest 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 prevailing swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was NNW, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the N. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Tahunanui Beach and away from the coast. We lump these in with the no surf category of the bar chart. To avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are surfable at Tahunanui Beach, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical February, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Tahunanui Beach run for about 3% 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.