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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 picture describes the combination of swells directed at El Zonte through a typical May, based on 2696 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the shore so we have chosen the best 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 directions and swell sizes, 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 happened only 0% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and highest 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 most common swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was SSW, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the S. 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 plot. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf 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. Over an average May, swells large enough to cause surfable 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.