Agucadoura Swell Statistics, May: All Swell – Any Wind
This image describes the combination of swells directed at Agucadoura through an average May, based on 2200 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the shore so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Agucadoura, and at Agucadoura the best grid node is 19 km away (12 miles).
The rose diagram illustrates the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing without direction information. Five colours represent increasing wave sizes. Very small swells of less than 0.5m (1.5 feet) high are shown in blue. These were forecast only 6% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red shows highest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell occurs.
The diagram suggests that the dominant swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was WNW, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the NW. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Agucadoura and out to sea. We combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To simplify things we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are surfable at Agucadoura, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical May, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Agucadoura run for about 94% of the time.
IMPORTANT: Beta version feature! Swell heights are open water values from NWW3. There is no attempt to model near-shore effects. Coastal wave heights will generally be less, especially if the break does not have unobstructed exposure to the open ocean.