Airport Lefts Swell Statistics, December: All Swell – Any Wind
The figure illustrates the combination of swells directed at Airport Lefts through a typical December and is based upon 2457 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the coast so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Airport Lefts. In this particular case the best grid node is 33 km away (21 miles).
The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell sizes and directions, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but lacks 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 0% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red shows the largest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell happens.
The diagram implies that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was SW, whereas the the most common wind blows from the WSW. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Airport Lefts and away from the coast. We group these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are good for surfing at Airport Lefts, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average December, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Airport Lefts run for about 100% 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.