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Vota Baia Formosa


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Baia Formosa Swell Statistics, Maggio: All Swell – Any Wind

The figure illustrates the variation of swells directed at Baia Formosa through a typical May, based on 2838 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the shore so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about Baia Formosa. In the case of Baia Formosa, the best grid node is 41 km away (25 miles).

The rose diagram illustrates 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 21% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red represents largest 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 prevailing swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was E, whereas the the most common wind blows from the SE. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Baia Formosa 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 Baia Formosa, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average May, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Baia Formosa run for about 79% 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.