This chart illustrates the range of swells directed at Torrey Pines State Beach through an average July, based on 1736 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the coast so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Torrey Pines State Beach. In the case of Torrey Pines State Beach, the best grid node is 22 km away (14 miles).
The rose diagram describes the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but 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 94% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red illustrates the largest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In either 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 largest spokes, was WNW, whereas the the most common wind blows from the W. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Torrey Pines State 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 plot. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Torrey Pines State Beach, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical July, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Torrey Pines State Beach run for about 6% 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.