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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, May: All Swell – Any Wind

This chart shows the range of swells directed at El Zonte through an average May, based on 2200 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the coast 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 shows the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing without 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 happened only 0% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft) are shown in red. In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell was forecast.

The diagram suggests that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was SSW (which was the same as the prevailing wind direction). Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from El Zonte and offshore. We lump these in with the no surf category of the bar chart. To avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose plot. Because wind determines whether or not waves are surfable at El Zonte, you can load a different image that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical May, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at El Zonte run for about 100% 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.