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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, January: All Swell – Any Wind

The rose diagram describes the variation of swells directed at El Faro over a normal January. It is based on 2868 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the coast so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about El Faro. In the case of El Faro, the best grid node is 56 km away (35 miles).

The rose diagram illustrates the distribution of swell sizes and directions, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing without direction information. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. These happened only 30% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and highest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell occurs.

The diagram indicates that the dominant swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was W, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the N. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from El Faro and out to sea. We combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at El Faro, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical January, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at El Faro run for about 70% 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.