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Isla Canela Swell Statistics, August: All Swell – Any Wind

This picture shows the range of swells directed at Isla Canela over a normal August, based on 2976 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the coastline so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Isla Canela, and at Isla Canela the best grid node is 39 km away (24 miles).

The rose diagram describes 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 happened 82% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell happens.

The diagram implies that the dominant swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was WSW, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the W. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Isla Canela and offshore. We combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To simplify things we don't show these in the rose plot. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Isla Canela, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical August, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Isla Canela run for about 18% 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.