1. For RI, they key factor is swell direction. It is a relatively small swell window as compared to other areas, so if the buoy is off shore aways, it will be much less impacted by the restrictive swell window.

Swell decay is not really the right term here. Swell decay is loss of wave energy in a given swell due to the physics of the energy traveling through the ocean. Loss of energy due to the ocean bottom is different, we could call that dissipation.

2. Last edited by Doug; May 1, 2014 at 02:47 AM.

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For RI, they key factor is swell direction. It is a relatively small swell window as compared to other areas, so if the buoy is off shore aways, it will be much less impacted by the restrictive swell window.

Swell decay is not really the right term here. Swell decay is loss of wave energy in a given swell due to the physics of the energy traveling through the ocean. Loss of energy due to the ocean bottom is different, we could call that dissipation.
Micah, let's get real! You know exactly what I'm talking about. I might not be using correct terminology since I'm not a weather scientist like your are, but
I'm talking about the fact that there is a difference in many swells between wave height at block island buoy vs RI SHORELINE.

I'm talking swell decay as it travels over distance. Lets say swell starts off hateras in the open ocean, it starts at 10 feet, correct?(just throwing a number out) By the time it hits RI, then size will decrease. As it travels over distance from source(once it leaves the area of fetch) its wave height starts to decrease.
So there are MANY instances where a wave height of 3 feet could occur 50 miles off block island, but by the time it travles another 75 miles the wave height has decreased, especially if there's offshore winds which also beat it down over distance!
Micah, explain to me this: 3 feet at 8 seconds at station 44097 DUE SOUTH with offshore winds
One time can be flat. Next time can be waist high. Same exact break/tide/ect. Anyone who's been doing this for any length of time has seen this happen. There's a reason Nantucket would be generally be bigger on that swell if it's closer to source.
Anyone can just look at a wave height in the ri graphical forecast and see the decrease in wave height over distance. This is not just a matter of exposure, but a matter of distance and that wave height decreases as it travels. It's like taking a surf report from a mysto island break 50 miles south of block island on a due south swell and saying that is the EXACT same wave height at RI shoreline. Obviously that is not true on many occasions. Especially with offshore winds beating it down over the extra 75-100 miles the waves will have to travel.
Last edited by shark-hunter; May 1, 2014 at 03:21 AM.

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The size of the area of fetch will also determine period as well as how close the waves are and chances of swell impacting the surf zone in any given area. It's impossible to figure out every time how much it will decay just based on local knowledge of a break and looking at a buoy. There are other factors at play here. Then it becomes a forecast based on how far away the waves were generated Thus, it's unpredictability for some swells by just looking a buoy.

It should be common sense that what is going on way offshore is not necessarily what is going to be impacting near shore waters even assuming proper swell direction due to wave height decreasing over distance once it leaves the area of fetch/winds. The farther away you go, the less likely a correlation between the buoy and the beach. If we had a buoy 1 mile offshore, we could be golden.
Last edited by shark-hunter; May 1, 2014 at 03:21 AM.

5. Originally Posted by shark-hunter
Micah, let's get real here. You know exactly what I'm talking about.
I'm talking about the fact that there is a difference in many swells between wave height at block island buoy vs RI SHORELINE.

I'm talking swell decay as it travels over distance. Lets say swell starts off hateras in the open ocean, it starts at 10 feet, correct?(just throwing a number out) By the time it hits RI, then size will decrease. As it travels over distance from source(once it leaves the area of fetch) its wave height starts to decrease.
So there are MANY instances where a wave height of 3 feet could occur 50 miles off block island, but by the time it travles another 75 miles the wave height has decreased, especially if there's offshore winds which also beat it down over distance!
Micah, explain to me this: 3 feet at 8 seconds at station 44097 DUE SOUTH with offshore winds
One time can be flat. Next time can be waist high. Same exact break/tide/ect. Anyone who's been doing this for any length of time has seen this happen. There's a reason Nantucket would be generally be bigger on that swell if it's closer to source.
Anyone can just look at a wave height in the ri graphical forecast and see the decrease in wave height over distance. This is not just a matter of exposure, but a matter of distance and that wave height decreases as it travels. It's like taking a surf report from a mysto island break 50 miles south of block island on a due south swell and saying that is the EXACT same wave height at RI shoreline. Obviously that is not true on many occasions. Especially with offshore winds beating it down over the extra 75-100 miles the waves will have to travel.
For the luvva wayne's gawd, shark stunter, leave poor Micah alone & why not go play with the buoy in your toilet tank, come back in 6 months with a full report on the swell there.

6. 44097 is 32 miles from Rhode Island (PT. Judith)... I say use Montauk buoy also because it gives a fairly accurate forecast. I've used it when traveling north and always had success.

Originally Posted by shark-hunter
You do realize how far from RI that is? It's just as far as station 44097. Montauk/far eastern LI is MUCH more swell exposed(swell doesn't have to travel as far) to many south swells than RI. RI is tucked in. Basic geography.

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Originally Posted by nynj
44097 is 32 miles from Rhode Island (PT. Judith)... I say use Montauk buoy also because it gives a fairly accurate forecast. I've used it when traveling north and always had success.
Point judith is super exposed(for ri). Other breaks are even farther. Station 44097 is 23 miles southeast of south side of block island. Block island south side is about 14 miles south of RI. So yes I exageratted a little for point judith. I never looked up exactly how far out. That's still WAY out in the ocean and the point remains the same. A buoy to be truly reliable for near exact wave height should be located a mile offshore.
3 feet at 8 seconds at station 44097 can easily turn into 1.6 feet at 8 sec(flat basically) by the time it hits some ri breaks including point judy. Seen it happen numerous times especially on an offshore wind. No way or predict this just by looking at a buoy. Next time it won't fall apart and will be 3 feet at 8 seconds and waist high at the beach. It's probably because waves were generated a little closer.
Last edited by shark-hunter; May 1, 2014 at 03:35 AM.

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For RI, they key factor is swell direction. It is a relatively small swell window as compared to other areas, so if the buoy is off shore aways, it will be much less impacted by the restrictive swell window.
True. RI is tucked in for sure. We need to get rid of long island

9. It's really not far out though. Every near shore wave buoy is in that range (25-35 miles)...

Originally Posted by shark-hunter
Point judith is super exposed. Other breaks are even farther. Station 44097 is 23 miles southeast of south side of block island. Block island south side is about 14 miles south of RI. So yes I exageratted a little for point judith. I never looked up exactly how far out. That's still WAY out in the ocean and the point remains the same. A buoy to be truly reliable for near exact wave height should be located a mile offshore.

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Originally Posted by nynj
It's really not far out though. Every near shore wave buoy is in that range (25-35 miles)...
Yes I know! Their not meant for surfing! Their for mariners! Somehow this ABSURD discussion by these people starting a flame war is that you can't simply rely on a OFFSHORE buoy and wave height can decrease over that distance! Really my only point!