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El Zonte ratings
Quality on a good day: 3.5
Consistency of Surf: 4.5
Difficulty Level: 4.0
Wind and Kite Surfing: 1.0
Crowds: 3.0

Overall: 3.7

See all 18 ratings

Based on 2 votes. Vote


Surf Report Feed

El Zonte Swell Statistics, February: All Swell – Any Wind

This picture shows the combination of swells directed at El Zonte through a typical February and is based upon 2664 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the shore so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about El Zonte. In this particular case the best grid node is 55 km away (34 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 illustrate increasing wave sizes. Blue shows the smallest swells, less that 0.5m (1.5 feet) high. These were forecast only 1.1% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red shows biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell was forecast.

The diagram implies that the dominant swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was SSW, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the NE. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from El Zonte and out to sea. We lump these in with the no surf category of the bar chart. To simplify things we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at El Zonte, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average February, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at El Zonte run for about 99% 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.