This image shows the combination of swells directed at The Reef through a typical February. It is based on 1584 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (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 The Reef. In the case of The Reef, the best grid node is 43 km away (27 miles).
The rose diagram illustrates the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, 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 only 3% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red shows biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell occurs.
The diagram indicates that the most common swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was ESE (which was the same as the prevailing wind direction). Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from The Reef and offshore. We combine these 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 surfable at The Reef, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average February, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at The Reef run for about 97% 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.