Arroyo Laguna Swell Statistics, January: All Swell – Any Wind
The rose diagram shows the variation of swells directed at Arroyo Laguna through a typical January, based on 2372 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the coast so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Arroyo Laguna. In this particular case the best grid node is 30 km away (19 miles).
The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell sizes and directions, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing without 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 80% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red illustrates the biggest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell occurs.
The diagram implies that the dominant swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was WSW, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the N. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Arroyo Laguna and offshore. We group these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Arroyo Laguna, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average January, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Arroyo Laguna run for about 20% 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.