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China Beach Swell Statistics, Agosto: All Swell – Any Wind

The rose diagram shows the variation of swells directed at China Beach through an average August. It is based on 2976 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the shore so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about China Beach. In the case of China Beach, the best grid node is 67 km away (42 miles).

The rose diagram illustrates 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 32% 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 frequently that size swell happens.

The diagram suggests that the dominant swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was W (which was the same as the prevailing wind direction). Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from China Beach and away from the coast. We lump these in with the no surf category of the bar chart. To avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at China Beach, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical August, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at China Beach run for about 44% 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.