Papagayo Swell Statistics, February: All Swell – Any Wind
This picture illustrates the combination of swells directed at Papagayo through an average February, based on 1808 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the coastline 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 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 represent increasing swell sizes and red shows largest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell occurs.
The diagram suggests that the dominant 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 avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are surfable at Papagayo, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were predicted 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.