i have a question. around what degree does the west in the sw swell become too much? like, if a true S swell is 180, is it around 185, 190? like, i imagine that short period swell filters in, but when does it become to the point where the direction really doesn't allow for it to show? i'm talking nj, btw.
I can answer for Delmarva and in some ways Delmarva is a lot like new jersey...the north sections face ENE, south section face more SE..
Its makes a lot of difference where you are forecasting for...on the delmarva the further south you go the more a SW swell gets in. In Delaware which faces ENE 180-190 will not show, in south ocean city which faces SE 180-190 will wrap in with a loss of height but still break ok.
Swell period matters a LOT. The longer the period with more the swell will bend in even if its steeply angled from the S. All steeply angled swell is basically wind swell but 8-9 second wind swell can bends in better than 7 second swell. Jetties tend to help these swells a lot by focusing a weak angled swell into peak.
i think the contour of the bottom,depth of your break & any sandbars & if they're shifting are factors that have to be figured in as well.i have been hitting a spot up by my house since mid-august that has been consistently firing much larger & cleaner than all the popular spots around here.the folks who live there tell me how their sandbar has been shifting alot with the storms that have come through & have been making their otherwise mediocre break freakin just go off lately.i have noticed that this spot is fairly shallow compared to the super-deep nature of the normal spot that everyone goes too.shallow in reguards to an average of 3-5 feet of water under you instead of 10-15 average at the regular spot.i know that when the swell is predicted to fire big,you have to take into consideration what the conditons on the bottom are at your break & factor that in when the predicted swell hits that bottom.also,don't forget tides.once you know exactly what the bottom & sandbars are doing in your area,you'll be able to acurately predict what the predicted swell will do once it hits your spot.nature can always differ from what she's supposed to do,but knowing all this will help you predict more accurately,more often.
Haha...I started this thread and missed it all. My only chance was super early this am and since it was such a crap shoot I decided no to go. Of course it ended up being good.