Labenne Ocean Swell Statistics, January: All Swell – Any Wind
This picture describes the combination of swells directed at Labenne Ocean through an average January, based on 1967 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 describes the distribution of swell sizes and directions, 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 occurred only 7% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red illustrates the highest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell was forecast.
The diagram suggests that the dominant swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was WNW, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the SSW. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Labenne Ocean and out to sea. We group these 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 good for surfing at Labenne Ocean, 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 clean enough to surf 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.