Arrifana Swell Statistics, February: All Swell – Any Wind
The rose diagram shows the variation of swells directed at Arrifana through an average February and is based upon 2102 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 most applicable grid node based on what we know about Arrifana, and at Arrifana the best grid node is 26 km away (16 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 represent increasing wave sizes. Very small swells of less than 0.5m (1.5 feet) high are shown in blue. These occurred only 7% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red shows the biggest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell occurs.
The diagram indicates that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was WNW, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the NNW. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Arrifana and away from the coast. We group these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To simplify things we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are good for surfing at Arrifana, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical February, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Arrifana run for about 79% 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.