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Happy Jacks Swell Statistics, Winter: All Swell – Any Wind

The rose diagram describes the range of swells directed at Happy Jacks through an average southern hemisphere winter, based on 8738 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the coastline so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about Happy Jacks. In the case of Happy Jacks, the best grid node is 9 km away (6 miles).

The rose diagram illustrates the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, 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 72% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and highest 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 occurs.

The diagram implies that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was ENE, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the W. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Happy Jacks 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 plot. Because wind determines whether or not waves are surfable at Happy Jacks, 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 winter, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Happy Jacks run for about 28% 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.