Arpoador Swell Statistics, Summer: All Swell – Any Wind
This image describes the variation of swells directed at Arpoador through a typical southern hemisphere summer. It is based on 6931 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the coastline 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 shows the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but lacks direction information. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. These occurred only 6% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red represents the highest 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 most common swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was SE, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the ENE. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Arpoador 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 graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Arpoador, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average southern hemisphere summer, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Arpoador run for about 24% 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.