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Isla Negra Swell Statistics, October: All Swell – Any Wind

The graph illustrates the range of swells directed at Isla Negra over a normal October, based on 2976 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the coastline so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about Isla Negra, and at Isla Negra the best grid node is 30 km away (19 miles).

The rose diagram describes the distribution of swell sizes and directions, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but without direction information. Five colours illustrate increasing wave sizes. Blue shows the smallest swells, less that 0.5m (1.5 feet) high. These happened only 93% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and largest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell occurs.

The diagram indicates that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was WNW, whereas the the most common wind blows from the SSW. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Isla Negra and out to sea. 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 surfable at Isla Negra, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical October, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Isla Negra run for about 7% 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.