Playa del Macao Swell Statistics, May: All Swell – Any Wind
This picture shows the combination of swells directed at Playa del Macao over a normal May and is based upon 2200 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 del Macao. In the case of Playa del Macao, the best grid node is 25 km away (16 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 represent increasing wave sizes. Very small swells of less than 0.5m (1.5 feet) high are shown in blue. These occurred only 56% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red shows the biggest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In each 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 biggest spokes, was NNE, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the E. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Playa del Macao and out to sea. We group these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To simplify things we don't show these in the rose graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Playa del Macao, 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 May, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Playa del Macao run for about 44% 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.