La Paz Swell Statistics, January: All Swell – Any Wind
This picture illustrates the range of swells directed at La Paz over a normal January. It is based on 2124 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the coastline so we have chosen the most applicable 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 shows the distribution of swell sizes and directions, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but 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 illustrates largest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, 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 largest spokes, was SSW, whereas the the most common wind blows from the NE. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from La Paz and away from the coast. We combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To keep it simple we don't show these in the rose plot. 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 expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During 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.