Labenne Ocean Swell Statistics, January: All Swell – Any Wind
This chart describes the variation of swells directed at Labenne Ocean through a typical January and is based upon 1925 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 optimum grid node based on what we know about Labenne Ocean, and at Labenne Ocean the best grid node is 43 km away (27 miles).
The rose diagram illustrates the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, 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 happened only 7% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red represents highest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell was forecast.
The diagram suggests that the most common swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was WNW, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the SSW. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Labenne Ocean 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 plot. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Labenne Ocean, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average January, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Labenne Ocean run for about 93% 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.