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La FAE ratings
Quality on a good day: 3.0
Consistency of Surf: 5.0
Difficulty Level: 1.0
Crowds: 4.0

Overall: 3.5

See all 18 ratings

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Surf Report Feed

La FAE Swell Statistics, January: All Swell – Any Wind

The figure shows the combination of swells directed at La FAE through an average January, based on 2868 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the coastline so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about La FAE. In the case of La FAE, the best grid node is 27 km away (17 miles).

The rose diagram illustrates the distribution of swell sizes and directions, 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 were forecast only 30% of the time. Green and yellow show 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 commonly that size swell happens.

The diagram implies that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was SW (which was the same as the prevailing wind direction). Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from La FAE and away from the coast. We combine these 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 good for surfing at La FAE, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical January, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at La FAE run for about 70% 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.