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King tides will hit California coast, bringing possible flooding and dangerous rip currents

King tides hit California coast

The tide rises at Playa Del Rey Beach last month. King tides are expected in California this week.

(Mark Ralston / AFP/Getty Images)

King tides are expected along California’s coastline Tuesday, causing flooding and possibly bringing strong rip tides for the next four days.

The unusually high tides, which occur near the solstices, can create a dangerous situation at beaches as warm sea surface temperatures cause water levels to rise dramatically, according to the National Weather Service.

Water levels will rise above 7 feet through Friday at Northern and Southern California beaches, with the highest tides expected Wednesday and Thursday.

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“King tides are bit higher than you normally expect,” said Rich Thompson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

The rising water and strong onshore winds could cause minor flooding in low-lying areas along the coast, forecasters said. High surf will also produce the risk of strong rip currents.

A cold low-pressure system from the north will also bring light showers, gusty winds and snow in the mountains late Tuesday through Wednesday and then again Friday and Saturday. The cooling trend will likely continue through the weekend, forecasters said.

Thanksgiving appears to be partly cloudy and rain-free, the weather service said.

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Southern California communities above 5,000 feet could receive a dusting of snow.

In Northern California, snow levels are expected to drop to 2,000 feet. Higher elevations in the northern Sierra Nevada could get up to 2 feet of snow, with possible whiteout conditions due to high winds and blowing snow.

The heaviest snow will blanket the Sierra Nevada range between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday, so forecasters advised travelers to avoid the area. At times, snowfall rates could hit 2 inches per hour.

For breaking news in California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA       

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