Anna Maria Key Swell Statistics, Spring: All Swell – Any Wind
This picture describes the variation of swells directed at Anna Maria Key through a typical northern hemisphere spring, based on 6571 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the coastline so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about Anna Maria Key. In this particular case the best grid node is 26 km away (16 miles).
The rose diagram describes the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but without direction information. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. These were forecast 82% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and highest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In either 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 largest spokes, was NW, 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 Anna Maria Key and away from the coast. We combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose plot. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Anna Maria Key, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average northern hemisphere spring, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Anna Maria Key run for about 18% 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.