Papagayo Swell Statistics, February: All Swell – Any Wind
The figure illustrates the variation of swells directed at Papagayo over a normal February. It is based on 2032 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the coast so we have chosen the best 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 illustrates the distribution of swell sizes and directions, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but lacks 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 15% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red represents largest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell happens.
The diagram suggests that the dominant swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was WSW, whereas the the most common wind blows from the SW. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Papagayo and offshore. We combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To keep it simple we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are surfable at Papagayo, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical February, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Papagayo run for about 85% 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.