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Vota Baia Formosa


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

The graph illustrates the combination of swells directed at Baia Formosa through an average southern hemisphere summer, based on 8485 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the coastline so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about Baia Formosa, and at Baia Formosa the best grid node is 41 km away (25 miles).

The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but lacks 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 54% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red illustrates the largest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell occurs.

The diagram implies that the dominant swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was ENE, whereas the the most common wind blows from the ESE. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Baia Formosa and offshore. 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 graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Baia Formosa, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical southern hemisphere summer, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Baia Formosa run for about 46% 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.