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Vota Arrecifes


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Arrecifes Swell Statistics, Spring: All Swell – Any Wind

This image describes the variation of swells directed at Arrecifes through a typical northern hemisphere spring, based on 8052 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the coastline so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Arrecifes. In the case of Arrecifes, the best grid node is 21 km away (13 miles).

The rose diagram describes the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, 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 happened only 2% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red represents highest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell was forecast.

The diagram implies that the most common swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was NE, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the ENE. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Arrecifes and away from the coast. We group these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are good for surfing at Arrecifes, 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 northern hemisphere spring, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Arrecifes run for about 98% 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.