La Paz Swell Statistics, January: All Swell – Any Wind
The graph illustrates the range of swells directed at La Paz through an average January and is based upon 2124 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the coast so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about La Paz. In the case of La Paz, the best grid node is 57 km away (35 miles).
The rose diagram describes the distribution of swell sizes and directions, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing without direction information. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. These occurred only 5% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red shows the largest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell happens.
The diagram implies that the most common swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was SSW, whereas the the most common wind blows from the NE. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from La Paz and out to sea. We group these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To keep it simple we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at La Paz, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical January, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at La Paz run for about 95% 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.