Ajo Swell Statistics, Spring: All Swell – Any Wind
The rose diagram illustrates the range of swells directed at Ajo over a normal 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 coast so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about Ajo, and at Ajo the best grid node is 10 km away (6 miles).
The rose diagram illustrates the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing without direction information. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. These occurred only 7% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and largest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell happens.
The diagram implies that the dominant swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was NW (which was the same as the most common wind direction). Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Ajo and away from the coast. We lump these in with the no surf category of the bar chart. To simplify things we don't show these in the rose graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are surfable at Ajo, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical northern hemisphere spring, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Ajo run for about 93% 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.