Aticama Swell Statistics, May: Surf with Light or Offshore Winds
This image shows only the swells directed at Aticama that coincided with light winds or offshore conditions through a typical May. It is based on 2200 predictions, one every 3 hours. The direction of the spokes show where quality surf generating swell comes from. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red illustrates the highest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell was forecast.
The diagram indicates that the dominant swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was SSW, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the NW. 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 52% of the time, equivalent to 16 days. Open sea swells exceeding >3m (>10ft) are unlikely to occur in a normal May. Taking into account the fraction of these swells that coincided with expected offshore winds, and given the fact that Aticama is exposed to open water swells, we think that that clean surf can be found at Aticama about 52% of the time and that surf is spoilt by onshore wind 37% of the time. This is means that we expect 28 days with waves in a typical May, of which 16 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.