The rose diagram illustrates the range of swells directed at Punta Descanso through an average February. It is based on 1584 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 best grid node based on what we know about Punta Descanso. In the case of Punta Descanso, the best grid node is 16 km away (10 miles).
The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but lacks direction information. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. These were forecast only 1.7% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red illustrates 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 prevailing 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 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 avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose plot. 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 predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical February, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Punta Descanso run for about 98% 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.