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Faial ratings
Quality on a good day: 3.0
Consistency of Surf: 2.0
Difficulty Level: 3.0
Crowds: 4.0

Overall: 3.0

See all 18 ratings

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Surf Report Feed

Faial Swell Statistics, February: All Swell – Any Wind

This picture shows the range of swells directed at Faial through an average February and is based upon 2102 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the shore so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Faial. In the case of Faial, the best grid node is 27 km away (17 miles).

The rose diagram describes the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but without direction information. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. These occurred only 5% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red shows the biggest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell happens.

The diagram suggests that the dominant swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was NW, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the N. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Faial and out to sea. We combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Faial, 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 February, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Faial run for about 92% 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.