El Comedor Swell Statistics, Autumn: All Swell – Any Wind
This image describes the range of swells directed at El Comedor through an average northern hemisphere autumn, based on 6642 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the shore so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about El Comedor. In the case of El Comedor, the best grid node is 40 km away (25 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 illustrate increasing wave sizes. Blue shows the smallest swells, less that 0.5m (1.5 feet) high. These were forecast only 5% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red illustrates highest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell happens.
The diagram implies that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was NNW, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the NNE. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from El Comedor and offshore. We group 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 clean enough to surf at El Comedor, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical northern hemisphere autumn, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at El Comedor run for about 95% 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.