Atacames Swell Statistics, November: All Swell – Any Wind
This image shows the variation of swells directed at Atacames through a typical November and is based upon 2387 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the shore so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about Atacames. In this particular case the best grid node is 23 km away (14 miles).
The rose diagram illustrates the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, 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 61% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell was forecast.
The diagram suggests that the dominant swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was WNW, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the SW. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Atacames and out to sea. We group these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are surfable at Atacames, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average November, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Atacames run for about 39% 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.