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Charleston ratings
Quality on a good day: 5.0
Consistency of Surf: 3.0
Difficulty Level: 3.0
Crowds: 4.0

Overall: 3.8

See all 18 ratings

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Surf Report Feed

Charleston Swell Statistics, Winter: Surf with Light or Offshore Winds

This image shows only the swells directed at Charleston that coincided with light winds or offshore conditions over a normal southern hemisphere winter and is based upon 8738 predictions, one every 3 hours. The direction of the spokes show where quality surf generating swell comes from. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red represents the highest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell was forecast.

The diagram suggests that the most common swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was WSW, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the SSE. The chart at the bottom shows the same thing but without direction information. For example, swells larger than 1.5 feet (0.5m) coincided with good wind conditions 35% of the time, equivalent to 32 days. Open water swells exceeding >3m (>10ft) only occur 1.3% of the time in a typical southern hemisphere winter, equivalent to just one day but 16% of the time we expect swell in the range 2-3m (6.5-10ft) 16%, equivalent to (15 days). Taking into account the proportion of these swells that coincided with forecast offshore winds, and given the fact that Charleston is slightly protected from open water swells, we calculate that clean surf can be found at Charleston about 35% of the time and that surf is spoilt by onshore wind 46% of the time. This is means that we expect 74 days with waves in a typical southern hemisphere winter, of which 32 days should be surfable.

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.