Papagayo Swell Statistics, February: All Swell – Any Wind
The graph describes the combination of swells directed at Papagayo through a typical February, based on 2032 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the shore so we have chosen the best 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 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 happened only 15% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red illustrates the highest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell happens.
The diagram implies that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was WSW, whereas the the dominant 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 lump these in with the no surf category of the bar chart. To avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Papagayo, you can load a different 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 surfable 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.