Aticama Swell Statistics, January: All Swell – Any Wind
The graph illustrates the combination of swells directed at Aticama over a normal January. It is based on 2372 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the coast so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Aticama, and at Aticama the best grid node is 31 km away (19 miles).
The rose diagram describes the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but lacks direction information. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. These were forecast 66% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red represents the largest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell happens.
The diagram suggests that the most common swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was SW, whereas the the most common wind blows from the N. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Aticama and out to sea. We combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To simplify things we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Aticama, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical January, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Aticama run for about 34% 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.