By the time surfers hit the water Monday morning in Newport Beach, Hurricane Rosa had been downgraded to a tropical storm as it crawled from northern Baja California toward Arizona. But the storm’s swells made local waves big and enticing nonetheless.
Spectators gathered Monday as surfers took on Newport’s famed Wedge, which had waves in the 8- to 10-foot range.
About 2½ miles away at the Point near 18th Street, waves were 6 to 8 feet with some 10-foot sets, lifeguard Battalion Chief Mike Halphide said. That was less than the forecast 15 feet Halphide had prepared for with extra staffing, though he said he wasn’t disappointed.
“It’s just not as big as they thought it’d be,” he said.
The waves were clean and the crowd seemed prepared — lifeguards had made only three rescues as of late Monday morning, Halphide said.
The high surf could be followed by rain late in the day Tuesday. A low-pressure system moving through Southern California is expected to spread rainfall from the coast to the mountains until early Thursday, said Samantha Connolly, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in San Diego.
Up to a half-inch of rain could fall in areas of Orange and Los Angeles counties, forecasters said.
As for Rosa, remnants of the storm are expected to bring heavy rain and thunderstorms to parts of San Diego and Riverside counties beginning Tuesday.