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El Faro ratings
Quality on a good day: 2.5
Consistency of Surf: 4.0
Difficulty Level: 3.5
Wind and Kite Surfing: 2.0
Crowds: 3.5

Overall: 3.4

See all 18 ratings

Based on 3 votes. Vote

Surf Report Feed

El Faro Swell Statistics, December: Surf with Light or Offshore Winds

This image shows only the swells directed at El Faro that coincided with light winds or offshore conditions through a typical December. It is based on 2705 predictions, one every 3 hours. The direction of the spokes show where quality surf generating swell comes from. Five colours illustrate increasing wave sizes. Blue shows the smallest swells, less that 0.5m (1.5 feet) high. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and largest 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 biggest spokes, was W, whereas the the most common wind blows from the N. 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 10 days. Open sea swells exceeding >3m (>10ft) are unlikely to arise in a normal December but 13% of the time you can expect swell in the range 1.3-2m (4-6.5ft) 13%, equivalent to (4 days). Taking into account the fraction of these swells that coincided with forecast offshore winds, and given the fact that El Faro is exposed to open water swells, we estimate that clean surf can be found at El Faro about 35% of the time and that surf is messed up by onshore wind 11% of the time. This is means that we expect 14 days with waves in a typical December, of which 10 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.