Waitpinga Swell Statistics, May: All Swell – Any Wind
The graph illustrates the combination of swells directed at Waitpinga through an average May and is based upon 1985 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the shore so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Waitpinga. In the case of Waitpinga, the best grid node is 40 km away (25 miles).
The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing without direction information. Five colours illustrate increasing wave sizes. Blue shows the smallest swells, less that 0.5m (1.5 feet) high. These occurred only 1.3% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red shows largest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell was forecast.
The diagram suggests that the most common swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was SSW, whereas the the most common wind blows from the NNW. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Waitpinga and offshore. We lump these in 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 surfable at Waitpinga, 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 good for surfing waves at Waitpinga run for about 99% 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.