Photo Courtesy of Steve Christensen
The National Weather Service has issued a coastal hazard message warning of high surf for southwest California beaches.
The high surf advisory comes into effect today until 10pm Thursday. With very large, damaging surf possible on Wednesday and Thursday.
The extended period of high surf is the result of a series of long period westerly swells, with the first swell brining high surf to beaches today.
The large surf is expected to continue through friday and possibly over the weekend, even though the advisory, at this point, is only in effect until Thursday evening.
The highest surf will occur on west facing beaches from Santa Monica southward to the Palos Verdes, including Venice Beach.
Waves are expected up to 9 feet today and by midweek surf will rise to 8 to 10 feet on Wednesday and 10 to 15 feet on Thursday.
The large powerful waves and strong currents will create a risk of ocean drowning, sneaker waves that can suddenly overrun previously dry beaches and jetties, and flooding of low lying beach parking lots, harbor walkways, and campgrounds. This risk will be greater midweek.
In addition, beach erosion and damage to coastal structures, such as the Venice Pier is possible.
The high surf advisory may be music to a surfer’s ears, however the high surf and rip currents will make swimming and rock jetties dangerous.
Remember, if you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until you are free of the current, and always swim near a lifeguard