This chart illustrates the variation of swells directed at La Paz over a normal January and is based upon 1728 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the shore so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about La Paz. In this particular case the best grid node is 57 km away (35 miles).
The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, 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 were forecast only 5% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red shows the largest 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 prevailing swell direction, shown by the longest 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 combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are good for surfing at La Paz, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical January, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf 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.