Soulac-sur-Mer Swell Statistics, August: All Swell – Any Wind
The figure shows the variation of swells directed at Soulac-sur-Mer through a typical August. It is based on 2438 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the coast so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about Soulac-sur-Mer, and at Soulac-sur-Mer the best grid node is 28 km away (17 miles).
The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing without direction information. Five colours illustrate increasing wave sizes. Blue shows the smallest swells, less that 0.5m (1.5 feet) high. These occurred only 6% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red represents the biggest 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 largest spokes, was WNW, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the NW. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Soulac-sur-Mer and away from the coast. We combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To keep it simple we don't show these in the rose plot. Because wind determines whether or not waves are surfable at Soulac-sur-Mer, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average August, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Soulac-sur-Mer run for about 94% 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.