The figure illustrates the range of swells directed at Punta Descanso through a typical May, based on 1488 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the coast so we have chosen the most applicable 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 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 illustrate increasing wave sizes. Blue shows the smallest swells, less that 0.5m (1.5 feet) high. These occurred only 0% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red illustrates largest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell occurs.
The diagram suggests that the most common swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was SSW, whereas the the most common wind blows from the NW. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Punta Descanso and offshore. We combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To simplify things we don't show these in the rose plot. Because wind determines whether or not waves are surfable 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 May, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Punta Descanso run for about 100% 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.