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Vota Bar Reef


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Bar Reef Swell Statistics, Summer: All Swell – Any Wind

This image shows the range of swells directed at Bar Reef through an average southern hemisphere summer, based on 8485 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the coast so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about Bar Reef. In the case of Bar Reef, the best grid node is 22 km away (14 miles).

The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing without direction information. Five colours illustrate increasing wave sizes. Blue shows the smallest swells, less that 0.5m (1.5 feet) high. These happened only 20% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red illustrates the biggest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell happens.

The diagram implies that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was SE, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the E. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Bar Reef and offshore. We combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To simplify things we don't show these in the rose graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are good for surfing at Bar Reef, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical southern hemisphere summer, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Bar Reef run for about 80% 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.