Hondarribia Swell Statistics, Spring: All Swell – Any Wind
This picture describes the range of swells directed at Hondarribia through an average northern hemisphere spring and is based upon 5786 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the coast so we have chosen the most applicable 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 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 represent increasing wave sizes. Very small swells of less than 0.5m (1.5 feet) high are shown in blue. These occurred only 6% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red illustrates highest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, 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 NW, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the WNW. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Hondarribia and away from the coast. We group these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are surfable at Hondarribia, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical northern hemisphere spring, swells large enough to cause good for surfing 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.