Iztapa Swell Statistics, Summer: All Swell – Any Wind
This picture describes the combination of swells directed at Iztapa through a typical northern hemisphere summer. It is based on 7266 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 best grid node based on what we know about Iztapa, and at Iztapa the best grid node is 52 km away (32 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 show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. These happened only 0% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red shows highest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell happens.
The diagram suggests that the most common swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was SSW, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the ESE. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Iztapa and out to sea. We combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose plot. Because wind determines whether or not waves are good for surfing at Iztapa, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average northern hemisphere summer, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Iztapa run for about 100% 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.