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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, April: All Swell – Any Wind

This image describes the range of swells directed at Charleston through a typical April, based on 2160 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the coast so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about Charleston. In the case of Charleston, the best grid node is 38 km away (24 miles).

The rose diagram illustrates the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, 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 happened only 11% 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 happens.

The diagram implies that the most common swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was WSW (which was the same as the dominant wind direction). Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Charleston and offshore. We group these 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 good for surfing at Charleston, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average April, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Charleston run for about 72% 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.