Abalone Cove Swell Statistics, Spring: All Swell – Any Wind
This picture illustrates the variation of swells directed at Abalone Cove through an average northern hemisphere spring and is based upon 6580 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the coastline so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Abalone Cove. In the case of Abalone Cove, the best grid node is 29 km away (18 miles).
The rose diagram illustrates the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but 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 occurred only 5% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red shows the largest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell was forecast.
The diagram indicates that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was SW, whereas the the most common wind blows from the W. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Abalone Cove and away from the coast. We combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To keep it simple we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are good for surfing at Abalone Cove, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical northern hemisphere spring, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Abalone Cove run for about 3% 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.