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Icelands Swell Statistics, All Year: All Swell – Any Wind

The graph illustrates the range of swells directed at Icelands through an average year. It is based on 34628 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the shore so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about Icelands, and at Icelands the best grid node is 6 km away (4 miles).

The rose diagram illustrates the distribution of swell sizes and directions, 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 happened only 0.1% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and largest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In either graph, 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 largest spokes, was SSW, whereas the the most common wind blows from the WSW. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Icelands and offshore. We group 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 surfable at Icelands, 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 year, swells large enough to cause good for surfing 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.