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About Swellcloud & FAQ's

Putting a focus on the forecast data that you need.

Why we built this?

This site was built to present complex data in a useful form for surfers and coastal users.

 

There is a multitude of complex data offered up by many global meteorological services, but this site will focus on European datasets and presenting it to users in the most simplified useful way for free.

What data do you use?

Firstly we are not using an API – (Which means using at a cost someone else’s data) – we have built our own lean system from the ground up using raw data and our own programs.

 

There is much speculation over the accuracy of the raw data from the different raw models we use and although the Euro Model runs at a higher resolution against the GFS (22km vs 13km) it will only run out to 10 days and we know that being able to see if The Atlantic might offer some action from a flat spell in the next week or two is very valuable to you. So we will (as other forecast sites do) use the GFS model out to 16 days (because thats how far it forecasts out too) to give you that insight and as the site develops we will run higher resolution European models closer to the current day to refine those all important winds.

 

After studying metrological data for many years there is a consensus that whilst all models differ in resolution and accuracy, in terms of the data that is needed to forecast the quality of the swell and wind needed to plan your time is consistent amongst the different models 1-7 days out.

 

We will offer 16 day free forecasts (initially from the United Stated GFS model) because that data is free and will always remain that way as long as the US Govt keep it that way. No matter how much additional modelling other forecasting sites claim to run their data through they are all being fed in part by a $500 million government weather model  (upgraded in 2022) or and a blend of other models such as the ECMWF (Euro Model) & ICON-EU .

How do you process the data?

All the data whist extremely complex in its raw GRIB format (General Regularly distributed Information in Binary form) is free, we will run this data through some some complex programs that we have written that will fetch the data automatically every time the model is updated usually every 3-6 hours, this will be processed on our server and present to you in what we hope is easy to understand and concise format.

 

We wont manually adjust algorithms based on requests for each spot we will present the data as it is and you can choose to use that data alongside your local knowledge. Some of the data used will be fed by ultra high resolution models that will take into consideration coastal refraction and shadowing.

How do i know where and when to go?

We understand that one surfers 6-8ft heavy barrels dream session isn’t another’s and therefore rating conditions on star ratings can be woefully inadequate, meaning some surfers to flock to locations, causing overcrowding and potentially dangerous situations.

 

That’s because when it comes to rating surfing conditions, stars reflect the preferences that people want to have, rather than the abilities surfers actually have to enjoy those conditions.

 

We hope to develop a colour rating where green indicators will indicate reasonable conditions for surfing…so if all the green lights align you can expect very suitable conditions for everyone not ‘exceptional’ We believe that this will help users expectations and aid long term planning, use of local knowledge and happier line-ups.

 

Swellcloud is not in the business of rating locations on a star system causing crowds and user frustration it will aim to give users an insight into the predominant factors of enjoying good surfing conditions, swell, wind and weather – its up to you to decide if 6ft and clean is better than 3ft and light onshore

 

We must irritate that any forecasting out past 16 days is extremely inaccurate and almost crystal ball stuff especially in Northern Hemisphere Atlantic if this was possible the US Govt would run their model past 16 days. You can factor in historical seasonal trends but its very pot luck.

How will it be commercially viable?

This site was built as a platform to present a hobby in surf forecasting, meteorology and web development. Its development has been funded by the founders passion in the hobby.

 

We have minimal operating costs…just time & server costs, if you are enjoying the site please feel free to become a Patreon, click on an ad, or buy something from the store

Become an early adopter on Patreon to help shape swellcloud’s growth, development and investment opportunities

Testimonials

Researching European, regional and coastal wave forecast models.
was key.

Research

Obtaining accurate results from wave models in coastal regions is typically more difficult. This is due to the complex interactions between waves and the local environment

Matias Alday

Laboratoire d'Océanographie Physique et Spatiale

Location specifics

As of 2021, the ECMWF's weather model is generally considered to be the most accurate weather forecasting mode and is arguably the best weather model on the planet.

Paul Douglas

Meteorologist - Aeris Weather

Design Quality

It is thought that the distinct gradients visible in some of the wave parameters are function of the tides' phase and the mean wave direction.

Stacey Rickson

Project Manager, Colabrio

Focus and Development

European
Coastline focus.

Creating a forecasting tool with clear user experience by processing the right data you need.

10 Day Swell Charts

16 Day forecasts

Join us on Patreon

Got an idea?
Let’s talk.

A team of creatives, surfers and developers who are excited about unique ideas by crafting a top-notch European Surf Forecasting data service.

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