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Whangamata Estuary ratings
Quality on a good day: 3.0
Consistency of Surf: 2.0
Difficulty Level: 1.0
Crowds: 3.0

Overall: 2.8

See all 18 ratings

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Surf Report Feed

Whangamata Estuary Swell Statistics, September: All Swell – Any Wind

The rose diagram describes the variation of swells directed at Whangamata Estuary over a normal September, based on 2879 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the shore so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Whangamata Estuary. In the case of Whangamata Estuary, the best grid node is 28 km away (17 miles).

The rose diagram describes the distribution of swell sizes and directions, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but lacks direction information. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. These were forecast 38% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red represents highest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell occurs.

The diagram suggests that the dominant swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was ENE, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the WNW. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Whangamata Estuary and offshore. We group these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are good for surfing at Whangamata Estuary, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical September, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Whangamata Estuary 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.