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El Pescadero ratings
Quality on a good day: 2.0
Consistency of Surf: 4.0
Difficulty Level: 3.0
Crowds: 4.0

Overall: 3.8

See all 18 ratings

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Surf Report Feed

El Pescadero Swell Statistics, Winter: All Swell – Any Wind

The figure shows the combination of swells directed at El Pescadero over a normal northern hemisphere winter and is based upon 7765 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the shore so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about El Pescadero. In this particular case the best grid node is 38 km away (24 miles).

The rose diagram describes the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but lacks direction information. Five colours represent increasing wave sizes. Very small swells of less than 0.5m (1.5 feet) high are shown in blue. These were forecast only 3% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red shows the biggest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell happens.

The diagram indicates that the most common swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was WSW, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the NW. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from El Pescadero and away from the coast. 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 clean enough to surf at El Pescadero, 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 northern hemisphere winter, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at El Pescadero run for about 97% 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.