El Capitan water temperature
El Capitan ratings
Quality on a good day: 4.0
Consistency of Surf: 1.8
Difficulty Level: 4.2
Wind and Kite Surfing: 1.0
Crowds: 2.5

See all 18 ratings

Based on 4 votes. Vote


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El Capitan Water Temperature and Wetsuit Guide

(Santa Barbara, USA)

Today's El Capitan sea temperature is 20.8 °C.

Statistics for 24 Oct (1981–2005) – mean: 16.6 °C, range: 14.8 °C to 18.5 °C

Sunny with pleasantly warm air temperatures (feeling like 23 °C once we account for wind), and similar sea temperatures (20 °C). Wear boardshorts or a shorty, or better still a thin summer wetsuit to keep the UV off.

United States Sea Water Temperature

Map of current United States
Surface Water Temperatures
based on measurements from oceanographic satellites
United States Water Temperature Anomaly

Map of current United States
Sea Water Temperature Anomalies

(compared with long term averages
at this time of year)

(click thumbnails to expand)


Below is a graph of Historical Sea Surface Temperature for El Capitan. This has been derived from analysis of two decades of oceanographic satellite measurements of nearby open water. We have calculated the average water temperature variation around the year as well as the extremes that have been observed on each date.

El Capitan Water Temperature Graph

All of the graphs for the surf breaks presented on Surf-Forecast.com are on the same scale to enable comparison between locations around the world.

El Capitan sea temperatures peak in the range 16 to 19°C (61 to 66°F) on around the 5th of September and are at their lowest on about the 7th of April, in the range 12 to 15°C (54 to 59°F). The highest seasonal sea temperatures at El Capitan at the beginning of September lend themselves to a 4/3mm wetsuit or a 3/2mm suit and 3mm neoprene boots. The lowest sea temperatures at El Capitan in the first part of April are ideally suited to a 4/3mm wetsuit + 3mm boots, although a 5/3mm wetsuit may be preferable for longer sessions and cold windy days.

Actual sea surface water temperatures close to shore at El Capitan can vary by several degrees compared with these open water averages. This is especially true after heavy rain, close to river mouths or after long periods of strong offshore winds. Offshore winds cause colder deep water to replace surface water that has been warmed by the sun. Air temperature, wind-chill and sunshine should also be considered before deciding on the kind of wetsuit needed to stay warm when surfing at El Capitan. Refer to our detailed weather forecasts for this information.

 

 

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