Soulac-sur-Mer Swell Statistics, December: All Swell – Any Wind
The rose diagram illustrates the range of swells directed at Soulac-sur-Mer through an average December. It is based on 2209 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the shore 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 but without direction information. Five colours represent increasing wave sizes. Very small swells of less than 0.5m (1.5 feet) high are shown in blue. These occurred only 11% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and largest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell happens.
The diagram indicates that the prevailing 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 offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Soulac-sur-Mer and away from the coast. We group these 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 Soulac-sur-Mer, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical December, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf 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.