Tamarindo Swell Statistics, May: All Swell – Any Wind
This picture illustrates the range of swells directed at Tamarindo through an average May and is based upon 2200 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the shore so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about Tamarindo, and at Tamarindo the best grid node is 28 km away (17 miles).
The rose diagram illustrates the distribution of swell sizes and directions, 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 happened only 99% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate 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 frequently that size swell occurs.
The diagram suggests that the most common swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was SW, whereas the the most common wind blows from the E. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Tamarindo and out to sea. We lump these in 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 good for surfing at Tamarindo, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical May, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Tamarindo run for about 1.0% 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.