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Balnakiel Bay Surf Stats

All swells

(any wind direction)
Balnakiel bay.surf.statistics.mayNw.animatedNw.label.animated

Good Surf

(light / offshore wind)

The figure shows the variation of swells directed at Balnakiel Bay through an average May and is based upon 3440 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the shore so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about Balnakiel Bay. In the case of Balnakiel Bay, the best grid node is 43 km away (27 miles). The rose diagram illustrates the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing without 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 happened only 21% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell happens. The diagram indicates that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was NW, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the SSE. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Balnakiel Bay and out to sea. 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 Balnakiel Bay, 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 Balnakiel Bay run for about 42% of the time.

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  • Balnakiel bay.surf.statistics.mayNw.animated
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  • Balnakiel bay.surf.statistics.julyNw.animated
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  • Balnakiel bay.surf.statistics.novemberNw.animated
  • Balnakiel bay.surf.statistics.decemberNw.animated

Also see Balnakiel Bay wind stats

Compare Balnakiel Bay with another surf break