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Aracaju Swell Statistics, March: All Swell – Any Wind

This picture describes the range of swells directed at Aracaju over a normal March. It is based on 2964 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the coastline so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about Aracaju. In the case of Aracaju, the best grid node is 5 km away (3 miles).

The rose diagram illustrates the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but without direction information. Five colours illustrate increasing wave sizes. Blue shows the smallest swells, less that 0.5m (1.5 feet) high. These occurred only 3% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red represents the highest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell occurs.

The diagram suggests that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was SE, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the E. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Aracaju and offshore. We combine 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 Aracaju, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical March, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Aracaju run for about 97% 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.