Ano Nuevo Swell Statistics, February: Surf with Light or Offshore Winds
This image shows only the swells directed at Ano Nuevo that coincided with light winds or offshore conditions through a typical February. It is based on 2102 predictions, one every 3 hours. The direction of the spokes show where quality surf generating swell comes from. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. Green and yellow illustrate 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 prevailing swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was W, whereas the the most common wind blows from the NW. The chart at the bottom shows the same thing but without direction information. For example, swells larger than 1.5 feet (0.5m) coincided with good wind conditions 6% of the time, equivalent to 2 days. Open sea swells exceeding >3m (>10ft) are unlikely to arise in a normal February. Taking into account the ratio of these swells that coincided with forecast offshore winds, and given the fact that Ano Nuevo is quite sheltered from open water swells, we calculate that clean surf can be found at Ano Nuevo about 6% of the time and that surf is blown out by onshore wind 14% of the time. This is means that we expect 6 days with waves in a typical February, of which 2 days should be surfable.
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.