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Surf Break Rating

Rate Arrecifes


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Arrecifes Swell Statistics, May: All Swell – Any Wind

The rose diagram describes the combination of swells directed at Arrecifes over a normal May, based on 2838 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the coastline so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about Arrecifes. In the case of Arrecifes, 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 but without direction information. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. These were forecast only 4% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red shows highest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell occurs.

The diagram indicates that the most common swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was NE, 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 Arrecifes and out to sea. We group these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To keep it simple we don't show these in the rose plot. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Arrecifes, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical May, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Arrecifes run for about 96% 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.