TurtleIsland Swell Statistics, September: All Swell – Any Wind
This picture shows the range of swells directed at TurtleIsland through a typical September, based on 1920 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the coast so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about TurtleIsland. In the case of TurtleIsland, the best grid node is 11 km away (7 miles).
The rose diagram describes the distribution of swell sizes and directions, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing 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 0.2% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red illustrates biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell was forecast.
The diagram suggests that the dominant swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was SSW, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the NW. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from TurtleIsland and offshore. We group these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To simplify things we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at TurtleIsland, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average September, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at TurtleIsland run for about 100% 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.