A Visualizer for Directional Buoy Data
The Java applet above lets us browse several days of recent data from the Point Reyes wave riding buoy. This data shows the wave energy in 9 frequency bands and the direction that the energy in each band is coming from. Run your mouse over the spectrum or time and date display on the bottom to see the direction and height for each time.
This application is designed for use by wave watching surfers (me in particular) and it will be added to my surfers weather site soon. Shorter period waves on the blue end of of the scale are created by local winds and tend to junk up the surf. Longer period swells on the red end make the most surfable waves. These are mostly produced in large and sometimes distant storms. Some surfable summer waves for us in California come from as far away as New Zealand. Winter waves often come out of the Gulf of Alaska. The direction graph points to the source of the components and surf breaks respond differently to swell mixes and directions. Having a few days history lets us spot trends and we can look back after a good or bad session to try to read the signs.
The bands run from a wave period of 22 seconds and greater colored dark red to one of 4-6 seconds colored dark blue. The nine bands are 22+ seconds period dark red, 18-22 red, 16-18 orange, 14-16 mustard, 12-14 yellow, 10-12 green, 8-10 dark green, 6-8 light blue and 4-6 seconds dark blue.
This page has been a sketch pad and test bed for ideas I've been working on. There have been many changes here over the last few weeks and I'm still tweaking.
I'm interested in your impressions and suggestions. Email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
-- Frank Cox