La Paz Swell Statistics, January: All Swell – Any Wind
This image illustrates the range of swells directed at La Paz through an average January, based on 2124 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the shore so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about La Paz, and at La Paz the best grid node is 57 km away (35 miles).
The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, 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 occurred only 5% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and largest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell happens.
The diagram suggests that the dominant 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 out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from La Paz and offshore. We lump these in 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 surfable at La Paz, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical January, swells large enough to cause good for surfing 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.