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Old Man's Hat Swell Statistics, Winter: All Swell – Any Wind

This image describes the combination of swells directed at Old Man's Hat through a typical southern hemisphere winter, based on 8738 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the coastline so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about Old Man's Hat, and at Old Man's Hat the best grid node is 12 km away (7 miles).

The rose diagram illustrates 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 occurred only 48% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red shows highest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell happens.

The diagram suggests that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was E, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the W. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Old Man's Hat and offshore. We group these 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 Old Man's Hat, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average southern hemisphere winter, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Old Man's Hat run for about 38% 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.