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

The graph shows the variation of swells directed at Isla Canela over a normal northern hemisphere spring. It is based on 8682 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the coastline so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Isla Canela. In the case of Isla Canela, the best grid node is 39 km away (24 miles).

The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing without direction information. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. These occurred 53% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red represents biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell was forecast.

The diagram implies that the most common swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was WSW, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the WNW. 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 group these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To keep it simple we don't show these in the rose graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Isla Canela, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical northern hemisphere spring, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Isla Canela run for about 47% 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.