High surf, with waves possibly larger than 20 feet, will pummel Central and Southern California beaches through Saturday night, according to forecasters.
The powerful surf will probably excite surfers looking to catch a large wave, but forecasters warn that ocean conditions could be dangerous for inexperienced swimmers. The high surf could produce rip currents, send breaking waves crashing into harbor entrances and cause beach erosion and flooding.
Surf between 10 and 14 feet is expected to pound the central coast until Thursday night, and become more powerful through Saturday, possibly exceeding 20 feet for west to northwest facing central coast beaches, according to the National Weather Service.
Waves at beaches in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties will be modest by comparison. Surf could reach up to 8 feet through Thursday night and 15 feet near Ventura Harbor by Friday.
The powerful surf comes after strong waves battered the San Francisco Bay Area last week. At least one person has died and four people have gone missing, including two BASE jumpers in Big Sur, in the dangerous surf.
This week’s turbulent ocean activity is the result of a strong storm over the Central Pacific, bringing a long-period swell.
The rest of the week will remain mostly cloudy, with rain and snow dropping over the Southern California region by Sunday. The colder system could also produce high surf, leading to beach erosion and property damage due to coastal flooding.
“There will be the potential for a very stormy day on Sunday,” said meteorologist Curt Kaplan of the National Weather Service in Oxnard.
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