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Utua Mamao (Atafu) ratings
Quality on a good day: 3.0
Difficulty Level: 1.0
Crowds: 5.0

Overall: 3.5

See all 18 ratings

Based on 1 vote. Vote


Surf Report Feed

Utua Mamao (Atafu) Swell Statistics, December: All Swell – Any Wind

This picture shows the variation of swells directed at Utua Mamao (Atafu) over a normal December and is based upon 2953 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 best grid node based on what we know about Utua Mamao (Atafu). In the case of Utua Mamao (Atafu), the best grid node is 8 km away (5 miles).

The rose diagram shows 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 were forecast only 98% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red shows the biggest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell occurs.

The diagram suggests that the most common swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was SSE, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the NE. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Utua Mamao (Atafu) and away from the coast. We lump these in with the no surf category of the bar chart. To keep it simple we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Utua Mamao (Atafu), you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical December, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Utua Mamao (Atafu) run for about 2.0% 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.