Aticama Swell Statistics, February: Surf with Light or Offshore Winds
This image shows only the swells directed at Aticama that coincided with light winds or offshore conditions over a normal February. It is based on 2102 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 illustrate increasing swell sizes and red illustrates biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell happens.
The diagram suggests that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was SW, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the N. 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 33% of the time, equivalent to 9 days. Open sea swells exceeding >3m (>10ft) are unlikely to arise in a normal February. Taking into account the ratio of these swells that coincided with expected offshore winds, and given the fact that Aticama is exposed to open water swells, we calculate that clean surf can be found at Aticama about 33% of the time and that surf is blown out by onshore wind 14% of the time. This is means that we expect 13 days with waves in a typical February, of which 9 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.