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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, May: All Swell – Any Wind

This picture describes the range of swells directed at Utua Mamao (Atafu) through an average May. It is based on 2696 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (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 Utua Mamao (Atafu), and at Utua Mamao (Atafu) the best grid node is 8 km away (5 miles).

The rose diagram shows 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 74% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red represents the highest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell happens.

The diagram implies that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was SSE, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the ENE. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Utua Mamao (Atafu) and out to sea. 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 good for surfing at Utua Mamao (Atafu), you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical May, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Utua Mamao (Atafu) run for about 26% 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.