This image describes the range of swells directed at Praia da Leirosa through a typical January and is based upon 1728 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the coastline so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about Praia da Leirosa. In the case of Praia da Leirosa, the best grid node is 11 km away (7 miles).
The rose diagram illustrates the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, 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 happened only 5% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red shows the highest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell was forecast.
The diagram suggests that the most common swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was WNW, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the N. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Praia da Leirosa and offshore. We lump these in with the no surf category of the bar chart. To keep it simple we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are surfable at Praia da Leirosa, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average January, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Praia da Leirosa run for about 95% 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.