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Islitas Swell Statistics, Autumn: All Swell – Any Wind

This chart shows the range of swells directed at Islitas through a typical northern hemisphere autumn, based on 8724 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the shore so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about Islitas. In the case of Islitas, the best grid node is 6 km away (4 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 illustrate increasing wave sizes. Blue shows the smallest swells, less that 0.5m (1.5 feet) high. These happened only 80% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red illustrates biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell happens.

The diagram indicates that the dominant swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was NNW, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the E. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Islitas and away from the coast. We lump these in with the no surf category of the bar chart. To simplify things we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are good for surfing at Islitas, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average northern hemisphere autumn, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Islitas run for about 13% 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.