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

The graph shows the variation of swells directed at Isla Canela over a normal November and is based upon 2867 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the shore so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Isla Canela. In this particular case the best grid node is 39 km away (24 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 happened 63% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell occurs.

The diagram implies that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was WSW, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the N. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Isla Canela and away from the coast. We lump these in with the no surf category of the bar chart. To keep it simple we don't show these in the rose plot. Because wind determines whether or not waves are surfable at Isla Canela, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical November, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Isla Canela run for about 37% 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.

FEATURE UPDATE: we now show red swell icons for 'open sea' swells that are travelling in an unfavourable direction for the surf break. In places, these swells may still wrap around coastlines and produce smaller waves at some breaks. They are also significant for windsurfers and other water users that tend to venture further off-shore.