Punta Descanso Swell Statistics, February: All Swell – Any Wind
This image describes the range of swells directed at Punta Descanso through an average February. It is based on 2032 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 most applicable grid node based on what we know about Punta Descanso. In this particular case the best grid node is 16 km away (10 miles).
The rose diagram describes the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, 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 were forecast only 1.3% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and highest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell was forecast.
The diagram suggests that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was SW, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the NNW. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Punta Descanso and out to sea. 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 Punta Descanso, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical February, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Punta Descanso run for about 99% 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.