1. Junior Member
Join Date
Aug 2011
Posts
2

## Swell Table Information

New to the site...I like the layout of the swell maps and other information. I do have a question however...\\r\\n\\r\\nWhat is the difference between a Swell 1, Swell 2, ..., and Swell 6?\\r\\n\\r\\n\\r\\nOf course, I\\'m reffering to the information gathered from http://www.swellinfo.com/surf-forecast/ocean-city-maryland.html

TIA

2. At any given moment, there is wave energy coming from all directions, which is described by a wave spectrum. The swell table and swell plots display the wave spectrum broken down into the 6 primary swell groups. If for example, the buoy says 6ft at 12 seconds, this can be deceiving, as it gives the overall significant wave height and dominant wave period, but doesn't describe the ocean wave spectrum.

That 6ft @ 12 seconds, could have s short period wind swell of 6ft @ 7 seconds, and a longer period swell of 3ft @ 12 seconds. By looking at the individual swell components, you can much better understand the wave spectrum at any location.

3. Junior Member
Join Date
Aug 2011
Posts
2

I'm assuming the significance of each number is just to label an event...nothing more. The only reason to jump to the next number or for the skipping around (using the graphic above) is to separate out the events.

If this is correct, then I was reading it all wrong to begin with. They need a clearer label on that graph that shows that they are events and nothing more...IMO.

4. Originally Posted by sduphily

I'm assuming the significance of each number is just to label an event...nothing more. The only reason to jump to the next number or for the skipping around (using the graphic above) is to separate out the events.

If this is correct, then I was reading it all wrong to begin with. They need a clearer label on that graph that shows that they are events and nothing more...IMO.
Swells 1 through 6 represent the different swell groups at a location at any time. For the east coast there are generally only 1 or 2 main swells, but for the west coast there are often times over 3 or even more significant swells. As an example, California, may be seeing long period swells from the North Pacific and long period swells from the South Pacific. They may also be seeing localized short period wind swell. The swell graph allows you to see all the individual swell groups at the same time.