Summer’s Tallest Waves Keep Most Beachgoers on Land
Tall waves--the tallest of the summer, according to Newport Beach authorities--continued to roll onto the Orange County coast Monday, keeping most of the few beachgoers out of the water and forcing several rescues.
The big surf is expected to continue today, although somewhat diminished.
Newport Beach lifeguards reported that the largest waves, 8 to 10 feet tall, appeared at the Wedge, the Balboa Pier and at 15th Street beach. Lifeguards raised red warning flags there, advising all but the most expert swimmers to stay on the beach.
Huntington Beach lifeguards said the surf there was “very hazardous,” running from 4 to 8 feet with strong rip currents. A few surfers were in the water on the west side of the city pier, an area partially shielded by the pier’s pilings.
Waves elsewhere were reported in the 3- to 5-foot range, except at Laguna Beach, which is somewhat protected from southerly swells and had 1- to 3-foot waves.
Sparse crowds meant few rescues, although in San Clemente, the five on-duty lifeguards had pulled 25 people from the water by mid-afternoon. A lifeguard spokesman there said the city’s relatively small beach had a larger-than-expected crowd of about 3,000.
According to WeatherData Inc., which provides forecasts to The Times, the waves are caused by southerly winds resulting from the combination of a low pressure area off the Southern California coast and a high-pressure area over the Great Basin.