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Extreme heat wave and high surf expected to send many to the beach

Extreme heat wave and high surf expected to send many to the beach
A surfer on the Wedge in Newport Beach. (Times Community News)

The hundreds of thousands of people likely to visit local beaches this Fourth of July week will be met by large waves expected to build late Wednesday and last through Friday.

Another type of wave — a heat wave — is also on its way. Temperatures are expected to hit or exceed the century mark in many parts of Southern California in the coming days, including downtown L.A. Inland valley and foothill areas are expected to be even hotter. Those broiling conditions are expected to last through the weekend.

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The heat wave could bring record temperatures to some areas, the National Weather Service says.

The sizable surf is the result of Hurricane Fabio, which on Tuesday was more than 600 miles southwest of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, according to the weather service.

Waves at most south-facing beaches are expected to be 6 to 8 feet, with sets of 10 to 12 feet in some areas of Newport Beach and Huntington Beach beginning Wednesday night.

In addition to the surf, strong rip currents could pose a danger to swimmers, forecasters said.

Newport Beach lifeguard Battalion Chief Mike Halphide said his department expects 80,000 to 100,000 people a day to visit city beaches in the latter half of the week. The number may be slightly higher on the Fourth of July, he said.

In response, he said, the department is bringing in additional lifeguards and extending lifeguard hours to accommodate the crowds.

“People are going to get to the beach earlier and stay later because of the weather,” he said. “We’re ready for the Fourth [of July] and we’re going to roll that surge status through the weekend.”

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