Drones, spotted over California beaches, catch epic waves

The monster waves hitting Southern California thanks to Hurricane Marie brought out crowds to local beaches. The waves also brought out some drones.

Some arresting footage of big waves has been posted on YouTube. One looked at the scene from Imperial Beach. Another captured images from Wedge in Newport Beach, where waves topped 18 feet.

A third from Tuesday photographed surfers at the Malibu Pier.

On Sunday, Marie became a Category 5 hurricane (the highest category on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale). National Weather Service weather specialist Stuart Seto said Marie’s wind speeds reached over 157 mph but that the storm has been rapidly weakening.


Marie has been moving west-northwest at about 15 mph, Seto said. It has churned up waves that are pounding Southern California shores. The storm was about 880 miles west of the southern tip of Baja as of Wednesday morning, Seto said.

“As the storm sits there, it generates waves,” Seto said. “Even though it’s tracking west-northwest, these waves it generated a day or a couple of days ago are reaching us, coming from the south.”

Seto said the potential for flooding the last few days has been amplified by the high surf coming in on top of high tides. The high tides are the peak periods for flooding.

Marie continues to weaken and is expected to weaken tonight to a point where it is just a tropical storm, not a hurricane.

Hurricane Marie is the first Category 5 hurricane in the eastern North Pacific basin since Hurricane Celia in 2010, according to the NOAA NWS National Hurricane Center.