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Arrecifes Swell Statistics, February: All Swell – Any Wind

This chart shows the combination of swells directed at Arrecifes through an average February, based on 2664 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 optimum grid node based on what we know about Arrecifes. In this particular case the best grid node is 21 km away (13 miles).

The rose diagram illustrates the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, 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 occurred only 1.3% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell happens.

The diagram indicates that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was NE, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the ENE. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Arrecifes and away from the coast. We group these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To keep it simple we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Arrecifes, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical February, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Arrecifes run for about 99% 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.