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Islitas Swell Statistics, October: All Swell – Any Wind

The graph describes the combination of swells directed at Islitas over a normal October. It is based on 2976 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (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 Islitas. In the case of Islitas, the best grid node is 6 km away (4 miles).

The rose diagram illustrates 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 occurred only 82% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red represents the highest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell was forecast.

The diagram implies that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was N, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the ESE. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Islitas and offshore. We group these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To simplify things we don't show these in the rose graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Islitas, 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 surfable waves at Islitas run for about 10% 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.