The figure describes the combination of swells directed at Cap Lopez over a normal November. It is based on 1680 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 best grid node based on what we know about Cap Lopez. In the case of Cap Lopez, the best grid node is 27 km away (17 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 illustrate increasing wave sizes. Blue shows the smallest swells, less that 0.5m (1.5 feet) high. These happened only 0% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and highest 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 was forecast.
The diagram indicates that the most common swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was SSW (which was the same as the dominant wind direction). Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Cap Lopez and away from the coast. We combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To keep it simple we don't show these in the rose graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are surfable at Cap Lopez, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical November, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Cap Lopez run for about 100% 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.