Puerto Arrecife Swell Statistics, January: All Swell – Any Wind
The figure describes the combination of swells directed at Puerto Arrecife through an average January, based on 2124 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the coastline so we have chosen the optimum 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 describes the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, 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 77% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red shows highest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell was forecast.
The diagram implies that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was NNE, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the E. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Puerto Arrecife and away from the coast. 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 graph. 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 predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical January, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Puerto Arrecife run for about 23% 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.