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Centinela ratings
Quality on a good day: 4.0
Consistency of Surf: 5.0
Difficulty Level: 4.0
Crowds: 4.0

Overall: 4.2

See all 18 ratings

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Surf Report Feed

Centinela Swell Statistics, October: All Swell – Any Wind

This picture shows the variation of swells directed at Centinela over a normal October, based on 2480 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the coastline so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about Centinela, and at Centinela the best grid node is 57 km away (35 miles).

The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell sizes and directions, 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 were forecast only 0.8% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red represents biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell happens.

The diagram suggests that the dominant swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was SSW, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the S. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Centinela and out to sea. 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 Centinela, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical October, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Centinela run for about 99% 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.