El Porto Beach Swell Statistics, January: All Swell – Any Wind
The rose diagram illustrates the range of swells directed at El Porto Beach over a normal January, based on 2124 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the coast so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about El Porto Beach. In this particular case the best grid node is 46 km away (29 miles).
The rose diagram illustrates the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but lacks direction information. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. These were forecast only 18% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red illustrates largest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell happens.
The diagram suggests that the most common swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was WSW, whereas the the most common wind blows from the N. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from El Porto Beach and away from the coast. 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 El Porto Beach, 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 January, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at El Porto Beach run for about 82% 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.