San Miguel - Areias Swell Statistics, March: All Swell – Any Wind
The figure describes the range of swells directed at San Miguel - Areias through a typical March. It is based on 2220 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the shore so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about San Miguel - Areias. In this particular case 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 illustrate increasing wave sizes. Blue shows the smallest swells, less that 0.5m (1.5 feet) high. These were forecast only 30% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red represents the highest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell happens.
The diagram indicates that the most common swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was NNW, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the SW. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from San Miguel - Areias 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 clean enough to surf at San Miguel - Areias, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average March, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at San Miguel - Areias run for about 67% 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.