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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 describes the variation of swells directed at El Zonte through an average February, based on 2102 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the coast so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about El Zonte. In the case of El Zonte, the best grid node is 55 km away (34 miles).

The rose diagram shows 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 were forecast only 1.3% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red represents highest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell occurs.

The diagram implies that the most common swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was SSW, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the NE. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from El Zonte and away from the coast. We combine 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 El Zonte, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical February, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf 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.