Magic Seaweed

Discussion in 'Mid Atlantic' started by cobtaco223, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. cobtaco223

    cobtaco223 Well-Known Member

    Dec 19, 2010
  2. cobtaco223

    cobtaco223 Well-Known Member

    Dec 19, 2010
    and wow.. looks like swellinfo is forecasting it. cool

  3. Kenny Powers

    Kenny Powers Well-Known Member

    Aug 30, 2010
    Magic seaweed has never been very accurate for me.

    MATT JOHNSON Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2009
    Magic Seaweed is a joke there wave hights are always off. Surfine is pretty lousy too unless you pay for it but even then they really dont give the eastcoast the attention it does to the westcoast and the rest of the world. Also I find both the site really not user friendly.
  5. shredNJ

    shredNJ Member

    Oct 3, 2010
    magicseaweed isn't all that accurate with wave heights I only use it to check winds
  6. zach619

    zach619 Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    Although my personal research has indicated that the "wave history" and the record of swell data is generally accurate, all the locals back home agree that magicseaweed is not accurate...

    It lists the following area, in order of annual swell averages... and they define a "swell" as anything ridable over 3 feet, with at least 7 second periods...

    So, its says:
    #1: Central Florida 36-38% of the year there is ridable windswell, but sometimes groundswell

    #2: OBX: Says mostly windswell annually, at about 32-35% of the time.

    #3: Jersey: about 28% of the time, jersey has swell

    #4: Virginia Beach, 23-26% of the time it has swell (And this is the most argued area. VB locals swear they only get like 10 ridable days each year and its a mushball, however the data SHOWS otherwise, as far as magicseaweed goes...

    #5: OC MD 21-24% of the time, OC MD has swell. (OC locals argue that they swells are hollower, faster and generally better than those of VB and Florida, so there are other variables that are not factored it... This is just off the 3ft+, 7sec+ math)

    #6: New York/New England 20-22%

    #7: Wilmington, NC 17-19%

    down to the worst, which i think is recorded as Northern GA and South Carolina, clocking in at around %10....

    So, there is the data... Some agree with it, some dissagree, but "supposedly" they accumulate this data based of averaeg of the past 10 years RECORDED swell activity on shore....

    So, the forecasting tool SUCKS, but I dont know how the "REPORT" functions work... Because the "reports" actual report info is what is recorded to cross reference the data....

    Anyway, been checkin that site for years, researching ever nook and cranny back east, but who knows if its accurate at all...

    The 100% best RECORED data available online is from surfline's paid accounts. You can tap into LOLA and retrieve very accurate swell information from any date and time within 10 years or so... And LOLA is the best RECORDED data... They have real live humans ni most areas record the actual report info, so it is by far the most accurate almanac if you will, of surfing... especially no the west coast. Lola is within a few inches of the reported data, even when its huge and 15 feet out, it records it as exactly that...

    I have no beef with surflines reporting... in thousands of sessions, ive been thrown off only a hand full of times, and usually it is because surfline underforecasted some larger NW swells...

    Reports says 3-5 feet, you get there and its like 3ft overhead... That can happen, but it almost never over-shoots the data.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2011
  7. Mitchell

    Mitchell Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2009
    I can't believe Magic Seaweed is using on-shore recorded swell activity. No such data base exists. I believe they are using buoy data, and that is the problem with magic seaweed. Off shore buoys dont represent surf condtions.
  8. JERSEYboarder

    JERSEYboarder Well-Known Member

    Jun 30, 2009
    exactly the same thing for me
  9. leethestud

    leethestud Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2010
    eh, never been impressed.

    I never miss with swellinfo. Within 48 hours its spot on. Anything outside of that is a shot in the dark anyways, wherever you look.
  10. zach619

    zach619 Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    Yeah, i wondered that as well. I had assumed they were using their own internal data that is saved into each date/locations variables. It is a very simple algorythm to file information like that into a database to be retreived with simple variable extraction... But I think you are right, that they are using buoy data. Its easier that way, but with such a large system recording so much data, I would assume the variables dont just get dumped and reloaded each day. When I ran a forecasting site, I had each date safe itself into 2 text files, to be scanned with PHP at a later date to look back on it.

    But it would be a shame if all that data dumps itself away...

    Hint hint... Micha... cough... =) It would take a bunch of server space, but maybe you can think of a way to have the data dumped into a SQL database or something... Nothing fancy... Just general regional data. Its worth looking into =) I think a lot of users would spend hours sifting through all that data.

    But that why I like LOLA at surfline, cause it does that. It dumps every recorded variable into a very nice database system for retrieval. The initial setup may be a *****, but the system dumps its own data once you configure it correctly.
  11. zach619

    zach619 Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    Yeah, I agree. I just think that on a very "general" level, even with 10 years of buoy data, it is a pretty good over-all look at things. Everyone's on-shore data will be effected differently, but generally, if its recorded everyones buoy data, then each spot can fluxuate one way or the other, but when looking at 10 years of it, it is a somewhat honest glimpse at swell potential and data. Who knows though.
  12. pkovo

    pkovo Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2010
    I guess I'm a minority, because I find Magic Seaweed to be a very useful tool, with decent accuracy. At least for NJ.

    Thing is, it doesn't give you surf heights like many sites do, it gives you information to help ascertain surf height. It's really just swell data, but it's a nice grouping of data.

    Once you get used to the readings, and how they translate to the surf at the spot(s) in your area, I find it can be very useful. The "Full Swell Breakdown" section is more useful then the "Summary View" in my opinion.

    If you don't want to try and translate raw data, and are looking for a site to just flat out predict the the wave height at your beach for you, well magic seaweed won't do that. SwellInfo and Surfline will, and Swellinfo does so much better than Surfline in my opinion, at least on a free level. I haven't seen the pay version of surfline.
  13. schweez

    schweez Well-Known Member

    Sep 17, 2008
    i thought there was the same forecast on the paysite, but for 7 days instead of 2. you get tools, weekly forecasts, etc., but the main thing you get is hd cams
  14. Recycled Surfer

    Recycled Surfer Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2010
    I tried MS also but it is not accurate at all. I then used it just for a quick check on weather and windspeed. Yhat was usually wrong also....
  15. SJerzSrfr

    SJerzSrfr Well-Known Member

    Mar 2, 2010
    Magicseaweed is the worst forecasting tool out there. i dont even check it its so bad. everything is way overforecasted. it could be knee high and they are calling for 5-6' surf. always way off.

    agree with zach about surfline- great tool and usually spot on. the only time they are usually off is if they underforecast the surf. that happens sometimes in the summer, where they might call it 1'+ and you go to a good spot to find waist to stomach high waves coming through.
  16. leethestud

    leethestud Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2010
    Step one: Use a data point...

    a fine comparison is tomorrow in VB. It looks like we will have favorable conditions and a bit of short/medium period swell. Swellinfo estimates 6ft @ 8secs but then graphs the wave height at stomach high (very probable). Magic seaweed predicts 8ft @ 8sec, graphing an overhead wave (yeah, right). Iv been surfing vb for a long time and true overhead days are few and far apart, and NEVER short period.

    As far as vb having waves 20% of the time, I think thats a little high. I guess the question is: Define "surf". Does that mean 2-4 foot and offshore? because thats once a week, no problem. If its head-high plus and offshore, then we are talking 8-10 days/year max.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
  17. EastShoreRider2

    EastShoreRider2 Active Member

    Jan 14, 2009
    I do like the little map at the top of the MagicSeaweed page that shows the swell and wind direction arrows. A good little visual tool, and seems fairly accurate. Also, in the summary section it gives a long range forecast over a week out, which gives you some forsight into what could happen.

    But I don't use it as my main forecast tool like this site, I just find some good things with their setup and use them.
  18. pkovo

    pkovo Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2010
    See, i don't think magic seaweed even attempts to graph a wave. I think magic seaweed's graph is a swell height, not a wave height. That's the difference. They only give the data, whereas swell info converts that raw data to a prediction of actual surf height.

    If I look at my area for Wed, at the specified times, the data on MS and Swell are pretty darn close:

    9AM MS-4.7 @ 8s......Swellinfo-4.9 @ 9s
    12AM MS-3.9 @ 8s......Swellinfo-4.3 @ 8s
    3PM MS-2.9 @ 8s......Swellinfo-3.3 @ 8s

    I like to be able to compare. here they are the same, which is strong, but there are times where one is picking something up a little differently than the other.

    maybe it's because I'm old and looking at raw data used to be one of the only ways we could get a decent prediction...that or call the surfline 900 number which tey updated once a day if we were lucky.

    I also like this one because instead of just using an arrow for swell direction, It gives the degree of each swell when you click on the bar graph. Only problem with this one is the time is off. It shows the swell about 8-12 hours further forward in time than it really hits. If you keep that in mind, then the data is pretty useful. Again, doesn't really give wave heights, just data|rt=NE (LI to NJ)

    All the sights are pointing to a nice swell for WED in NJ
  19. zach619

    zach619 Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    They define "ridable surf" as: At least 3 feet in wave height. At least 7 second periods. So, some of that VB 20% is right around that 3ft, 7 second swell, most likely choppy, blown out and unridable... They do not account for "offshore/onshore flow"... It is strictly that criteria. 3ft, 7 seconds....

    So, there are quite a few clean, offshore 1-2ft days that MS does not register as "surf" but there are equally as many days of onshore, windchopped victory at sea that do get counted... So, it seems to kind of average itself out....

    by 20% is probably pretty accurate, based on the fact that 5-8% of those recorded conditions were probably terrible. Rain. Onshore wind.

    But the point is, even with 20MPH onshores and windchopped shore break, "technically" you can go out and ride it.