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

The graph describes the variation of swells directed at Isla Canela over a normal northern hemisphere winter, based on 8485 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 the case of Isla Canela, 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 represent increasing wave sizes. Very small swells of less than 0.5m (1.5 feet) high are shown in blue. These occurred 50% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red illustrates the highest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell was forecast.

The diagram indicates that the dominant swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was WSW, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the N. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Isla Canela and offshore. 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 Isla Canela, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical northern hemisphere winter, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Isla Canela run for about 50% 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.