Centinela Swell Statistics, November: All Swell – Any Wind
This chart describes the range of swells directed at Centinela over a normal November. It is based on 1907 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the coastline so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about Centinela. In this particular case the best grid node is 57 km away (35 miles).
The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but 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 represent increasing swell sizes and red represents the highest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, 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 SSW, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the S. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Centinela and offshore. We lump these in with the no surf category of the bar chart. To keep it simple we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are good for surfing at Centinela, you can load a different 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 clean enough to surf waves at Centinela 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.