This picture illustrates the range of swells directed at Praia Mole over a normal March, based on 1724 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 Praia Mole, and at Praia Mole the best grid node is 44 km away (27 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 illustrate increasing wave sizes. Blue shows the smallest swells, less that 0.5m (1.5 feet) high. These occurred only 1.5% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red illustrates the largest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell was forecast.
The diagram indicates that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was SE, whereas the the most common wind blows from the E. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Praia Mole and offshore. We group these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To keep it simple we don't show these in the rose graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Praia Mole, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical March, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Praia Mole run for about 98% 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.