Punta Blanca Swell Statistics, May: All Swell – Any Wind
The rose diagram illustrates the range of swells directed at Punta Blanca through an average May. It is based on 2200 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 optimum grid node based on what we know about Punta Blanca. In this particular case the best grid node is 30 km away (19 miles).
The rose diagram describes the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, 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 100% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red represents the largest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell was forecast.
The diagram implies that the most common swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was WNW, whereas the the most common wind blows from the SW. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Punta Blanca and out to sea. We combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Punta Blanca, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical May, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Punta Blanca run for about 0% 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.