Centinela Swell Statistics, November: All Swell – Any Wind
This picture shows the range of swells directed at Centinela through a typical November and is based upon 1680 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the coast so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about Centinela. In the case of Centinela, the best grid node is 102 km away (63 miles).
The rose diagram illustrates the distribution of swell sizes and directions, 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 happened only 0% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red illustrates biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell was forecast.
The diagram suggests that the most common swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was SSW, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the S. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Centinela and away from the coast. We lump these in with the no surf category of the bar chart. To avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are surfable at Centinela, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average November, swells large enough to cause good for surfing 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.