Swell Matrix

A quick overview of Scripps’ surf buoy site

Ever want to know how consistent the surf will be? Or how many waves will be in a set? Instead of staring at a web cam for 20 minutes, check out CDIP buoy data from Scripps Institute of Oceanography. On the site, click a link to a buoy near you and check out the section on the left marked “Latest Data Run.” There you will see:

  • 9-band Plot – see how high the actual swell is versus windswell and chop, and compare against Swell Matrix forecasts
  • Spectral Plot – shows relative energy of swell bands
  • Directional Spectrum – breaks down what angles the swells are coming from
  • Time Series Plot – shows every wave under the buoy for the last half hour- check out the set height and consistency here!
  • Wave Histogram – shows the number of waves of a given height that the buoy recorded over the last half hour
  • WW3 site forecast – forecasts the overall sea height for a week, and compares the actual height to the forecast for the last 3 days

Unfortunately not all buoys have all the options. I’ll describe how to use these to score waves in more detail in the future – stay tuned.

*Swell Matrix is not affiliated with Scripps Institute*