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Unawatuna Swell Statistics, October: Surf with Light or Offshore Winds

This image shows only the swells directed at Unawatuna that coincided with light winds or offshore conditions through a typical October and is based upon 2480 predictions, one every 3 hours. The direction of the spokes show where quality surf generating swell comes from. Five colours illustrate increasing wave sizes. Blue shows the smallest swells, less that 0.5m (1.5 feet) high. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell occurs.

The diagram suggests that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was SSW, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the WSW. The chart at the bottom shows the same thing but without direction information. For example, swells larger than 1.5 feet (0.5m) coincided with good wind conditions 27% of the time, equivalent to 8 days. Open sea swells exceeding >3m (>10ft) are unlikely to happen in a normal October but 13% of the time you can expect swell in the range 1.3-2m (4-6.5ft) 13%, equivalent to (4 days). Taking into account the fraction of these swells that coincided with expected offshore winds we think that that clean surf can be found at Unawatuna about 27% of the time and that surf is messed up by onshore wind 66% of the time. This is means that we expect 29 days with waves in a typical October, of which 8 days should be clean enough to surf.

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.