This image shows only the swells directed at Barre de Balizas that coincided with light winds or offshore conditions over a normal February. It is based on 1584 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 highest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell happens.
The diagram indicates that the dominant swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was SE, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the ENE. 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 18% of the time, equivalent to 5 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 forecast offshore winds, and given the fact that Barre de Balizas is exposed to open water swells, we estimate that clean surf can be found at Barre de Balizas about 18% of the time and that surf is blown out by onshore wind 56% of the time. This is means that we expect 21 days with waves in a typical February, of which 5 days should be surfable.
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.