Puerto Arrecife Swell Statistics, January: All Swell – Any Wind
This picture illustrates the variation of swells directed at Puerto Arrecife over a normal January. It is based on 1728 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the shore so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about Puerto Arrecife. In this particular case the best grid node is 52 km away (32 miles).
The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing 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 73% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red represents largest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell occurs.
The diagram indicates that the dominant swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was NNE, whereas the the most common 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 Puerto Arrecife and out to sea. 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 good for surfing at Puerto Arrecife, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical January, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Puerto Arrecife run for about 27% 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.