Agucadoura Swell Statistics, Spring: All Swell – Any Wind
This picture illustrates the range of swells directed at Agucadoura through an average northern hemisphere spring, based on 6580 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the coastline so we have chosen the best 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 shows the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but lacks direction information. Five colours illustrate increasing wave sizes. Blue shows the smallest swells, less that 0.5m (1.5 feet) high. These happened only 5% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and largest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell was forecast.
The diagram indicates that the dominant swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was WNW, whereas the the most common wind blows from the NNW. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Agucadoura and offshore. We group these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose plot. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Agucadoura, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical northern hemisphere spring, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Agucadoura run for about 95% 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.