Punta Descanso Swell Statistics, February: All Swell – Any Wind
The figure illustrates the combination of swells directed at Punta Descanso through a typical 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 shore so we have chosen the best 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 illustrates the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing without direction information. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. These happened only 1.3% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red represents the largest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, 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 longest spokes, was SW, whereas the the most common wind blows from the NNW. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Punta Descanso 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 diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are good for surfing at Punta Descanso, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average February, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf 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.