Papagayo Swell Statistics, February: All Swell – Any Wind
The graph illustrates the variation of swells directed at Papagayo through an average February and is based upon 1584 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 Papagayo, and at Papagayo the best grid node is 33 km away (21 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 represent increasing wave sizes. Very small swells of less than 0.5m (1.5 feet) high are shown in blue. These were forecast only 16% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and largest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell occurs.
The diagram implies that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was WSW, whereas the the most common wind blows from the SW. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Papagayo and out to sea. We combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To simplify things we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are surfable at Papagayo, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical February, swells large enough to cause good for surfing 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.