The figure shows the range of swells directed at Playa de Sabon through a typical April. It is based on 1680 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the shore so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about Playa de Sabon. In the case of Playa de Sabon, the best grid node is 16 km away (10 miles).
The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, 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 occurred only 14% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In either graph, 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 longest spokes, was NW, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the N. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Playa de Sabon and out to sea. We combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To keep it simple we don't show these in the rose plot. Because wind determines whether or not waves are good for surfing at Playa de Sabon, 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 April, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Playa de Sabon run for about 86% 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.