Ano Nuevo Swell Statistics, Spring: All Swell – Any Wind
This picture describes the range of swells directed at Ano Nuevo 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 shore so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about Ano Nuevo, and at Ano Nuevo the best grid node is 21 km away (13 miles).
The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell sizes and directions, 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 were forecast only 73% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and highest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell was forecast.
The diagram suggests that the dominant swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was SW, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the WNW. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Ano Nuevo and out to sea. We group 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 Ano Nuevo, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical northern hemisphere spring, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Ano Nuevo run for about 10% 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.