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Blue Bay Swell Statistics, Autumn: All Swell – Any Wind

The figure shows the variation of swells directed at Blue Bay through a typical southern hemisphere autumn, based on 8682 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the shore so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about Blue Bay. In this particular case the best grid node is 16 km away (10 miles).

The rose diagram describes 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 happened only 29% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. 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 largest spokes, was SE, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the S. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Blue Bay 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 diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are good for surfing at Blue Bay, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average southern hemisphere autumn, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Blue Bay run for about 45% 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.