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Icelands Swell Statistics, Autumn: All Swell – Any Wind

This picture illustrates the variation of swells directed at Icelands through an average 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 coast so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about Icelands. In this particular case the best grid node is 6 km away (4 miles).

The rose diagram illustrates the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, 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 0% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and largest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell occurs.

The diagram implies that the dominant swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was SSW, 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 Icelands and away from the coast. We group these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose plot. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Icelands, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical southern hemisphere autumn, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Icelands run for about 100% 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.