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White Sands ratings
Quality on a good day: 1.7
Consistency of Surf: 1.7
Difficulty Level: 3.7
Wind and Kite Surfing: 1.0
Crowds: 2.0

Overall: 1.8

See all 18 ratings

Based on 3 votes. Vote


Surf Report Feed

White Sands Swell Statistics, May: All Swell – Any Wind

The rose diagram describes the combination of swells directed at White Sands through an average May and is based upon 2696 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the coast so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about White Sands, and at White Sands the best grid node is 32 km away (20 miles).

The rose diagram describes the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but lacks 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 49% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and highest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In either 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 biggest spokes, was NE, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the S. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from White Sands and offshore. 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 graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at White Sands, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical May, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at White Sands run for about 15% 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.