Soulac-sur-Mer Swell Statistics, December: All Swell – Any Wind
This image illustrates the range of swells directed at Soulac-sur-Mer over a normal December. It is based on 2209 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the coastline so we have chosen the most applicable 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 directions and swell sizes, 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 were forecast only 11% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red represents the largest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell happens.
The diagram implies that the most common swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was W (which was the same as the most common wind direction). Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Soulac-sur-Mer and out to sea. We combine 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 Soulac-sur-Mer, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical December, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Soulac-sur-Mer run for about 89% 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.