Hondarribia Swell Statistics, Spring: All Swell – Any Wind
This image shows the combination of swells directed at Hondarribia through a typical northern hemisphere spring. It is based on 5987 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the shore so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about Hondarribia. In the case of Hondarribia, the best grid node is 19 km away (12 miles).
The rose diagram shows 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 were forecast only 6% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red represents the 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 largest spokes, was NW, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the WNW. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Hondarribia and out to sea. We group these 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 Hondarribia, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average northern hemisphere spring, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Hondarribia run for about 94% 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.