Tuamotu Island Swell Statistics, Winter: All Swell – Any Wind
This chart shows the combination of swells directed at Tuamotu Island through a typical southern hemisphere winter. It is based on 7266 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the coastline so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about Tuamotu Island. In the case of Tuamotu Island, the best grid node is 33 km away (21 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 represent increasing wave sizes. Very small swells of less than 0.5m (1.5 feet) high are shown in blue. These happened only 8% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red represents the biggest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell occurs.
The diagram indicates that the dominant swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was SE, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the W. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Tuamotu Island and out to sea. We combine these 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 Tuamotu Island, 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 southern hemisphere winter, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Tuamotu Island run for about 92% 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.