Arpoador Swell Statistics, July: All Swell – Any Wind
This picture shows the variation of swells directed at Arpoador through an average July and is based upon 2480 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the shore so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Arpoador. In the case of Arpoador, the best grid node is 21 km away (13 miles).
The rose diagram illustrates the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but lacks 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 3% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red represents biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In each 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 biggest spokes, was SSE, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the NE. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Arpoador and away from the coast. We combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To simplify things we don't show these in the rose plot. Because wind determines whether or not waves are good for surfing at Arpoador, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical July, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Arpoador run for about 43% 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.