The figure illustrates the combination of swells directed at Buraco through a typical southern hemisphere spring, based on 5144 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the shore so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about Buraco. In the case of Buraco, the best grid node is 3 km away (2 miles).
The rose diagram shows 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 0% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and largest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell occurs.
The diagram indicates that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was SW (which was the same as the most common wind direction). Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Buraco and offshore. We group these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To simplify things we don't show these in the rose graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are good for surfing at Buraco, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average southern hemisphere spring, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Buraco 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.