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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, Summer: All Swell – Any Wind

The rose diagram illustrates the combination of swells directed at El Zonte through an average northern hemisphere summer. It is based on 7266 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the coast so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about El Zonte, and at El Zonte 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 but lacks 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 0.2% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red represents the largest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell occurs.

The diagram implies that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was SSW, whereas the the most common wind blows from the E. 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 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 view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical northern hemisphere summer, 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.