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Te Araroa Swell Statistics, March: All Swell – Any Wind

The figure shows the variation of swells directed at Te Araroa through an average March. It is based on 2964 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the shore so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Te Araroa, and at Te Araroa the best grid node is 18 km away (11 miles).

The rose diagram describes the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing without direction information. Five colours illustrate increasing wave sizes. Blue shows the smallest swells, less that 0.5m (1.5 feet) high. These happened only 41% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red represents the biggest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell happens.

The diagram suggests that the most common swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was ENE, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the E. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Te Araroa and away from the coast. We combine these 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 good for surfing at Te Araroa, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical March, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Te Araroa 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.