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Imperial Beach Surf Stats

All swells

(any wind direction)
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Good Surf

(light / offshore wind)

This picture illustrates the combination of swells directed at Imperial Beach through an average November. It is based on 3347 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 Imperial Beach. In the case of Imperial Beach, the best grid node is 36 km away (22 miles). The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, 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 occurred only 16% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and largest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell happens. The diagram indicates that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was SW, whereas the the most common wind blows from the NW. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Imperial Beach 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 graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are surfable at Imperial Beach, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical November, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Imperial Beach run for about 84% of the time.

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Also see Imperial Beach wind stats

Compare Imperial Beach with another surf break