Atacames Swell Statistics, Summer: Surf with Light or Offshore Winds
The rose diagram shows only the swells directed at Atacames that coincided with light winds or offshore conditions through a typical northern hemisphere summer. It is based on 7266 predictions, one every 3 hours. The direction of the spokes show where quality surf generating swell comes from. Five colours represent increasing wave sizes. Very small swells of less than 0.5m (1.5 feet) high are shown in blue. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and largest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell happens.
The diagram implies that the dominant swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was WNW, whereas the the most common wind blows from the SW. The chart at the bottom shows the same thing but without direction information. For example, swells larger than 1.5 feet (0.5m) coincided with good wind conditions 0.2% of the time, equivalent to 0 days. Open sea swells exceeding >3m (>10ft) are unlikely to arise in a normal northern hemisphere summer. Taking into account the ratio of these swells that coincided with predicted offshore winds, and given the fact that Atacames is exposed to open water swells, we think that that clean surf can be found at Atacames about 0.2% of the time and that surf is spoilt by onshore wind 5% of the time. This is means that we expect 5 days with waves in a typical northern hemisphere summer, of which 0 days should be clean enough to surf.
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.