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Surf Forecast

MSW surf forecast for Aberdeen beach.

The MSW model is fairly good as long as you know how to use it.
Rather than continually update this page I have added a short tutorial on how to use it.

The Aberdeen Beach forecast is based on Footdee.
This is a Northeast facing spot and therefore the forecast does not show the SE and south swells that don’t get in at Footdee, these swells however do provide very surfable conditions further up the beach, around the lifeguard station. To see the wave height that these swells might cause use the Balmedie forecast.

The MSW point for Footdee is a long way offshore this means that it does not take into account the swell shadow created by Peterhead further north. Northerly swells therfore do not create as large waves as the forecast suggests, unless the swell angle is at least 20-30 degrees (see this number by hovering over the arrows on the MSW forecast) or if the swell period is very high 12-13 secs plus and the swell refracts (bends around Peterhead) without losing much energy (wave height).

Wind, MSW will get the wind wrong as it is for an offshore point and does not take account for the affect the land has on the wind. This can be quite large. Northerly winds in MSW are generally NW – especially in the early mornings. Sometimes even NE winds in MSW will be NW in reality. Winds will often be lighter especially in the morning. Sea Breezes will often not be captured – by mid afternoon on spring and summer days with light offshores (up to 10mph) it will often be onshore. Land breezes will not be captured – on cold days in the mornings and evenings it will often be offshore if MSW is giving a light onshore (up to 10mph).

Finally – it’s a computer model and will be wrong on many occasions. Look at real observations from wave buoys: http://cefasmapping.defra.gov.uk/Map and compare them to what the model thinks. The point at St Andrews is quite a good guide for Aberdeen Beach. and http://www.xcweather.co.uk/ for live wind – www.metoffice.gov.uk for better quality wind forecast data.

Cheers,

Hugh

 

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