Papagayo Swell Statistics, February: All Swell – Any Wind
This image describes the variation of swells directed at Papagayo through a typical February, based on 1584 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the coast so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Papagayo. In this particular case the best grid node is 33 km away (21 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 16% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red represents highest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell occurs.
The diagram implies that the most common swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was WSW, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the SW. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Papagayo and away from the coast. 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 Papagayo, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average February, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Papagayo run for about 84% 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.