This chart shows the range of swells directed at Whitley Bay through an average October. It is based on 1240 NWW3 model predictions since 2008 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the shore so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Whitley Bay. In this particular case the best grid node is 29 km away (18 miles).
The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but lacks direction information. Five colours represent increasing wave sizes. Very small swells of less than 0.5m (1.5 feet) high are shown in blue. These were forecast only 48% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red represents the biggest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell was forecast.
The diagram implies that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was NNE, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the WSW. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Whitley Bay and offshore. We group these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To keep it simple we don't show these in the rose plot. Because wind determines whether or not waves are surfable at Whitley Bay, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical October, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Whitley Bay run for about 28% 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.