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From snow to waves; SoCal getting wild weather

May 23, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
High surf pounded the Southland coastline this weekend, made more hazardous by rip currents, according to the National Weather Service. "Surf is expected to build to 5 to 7 feet, occasionally 8 feet along exposed west-facing shores this evening and persist through Sunday morning," the Weather Services reported.

While seas are expected to diminish slightly on Sunday, hazardous surf and rip currents will linger.

There will be a high risk of strong and dangerous rip currents through Sunday. A high tide of just over 5 feet is expected this evening, with a possibility of some minor tidal overflow.

Meantime, waves up to 18 feet were reported at the Wedge in Newport Beach late this afternoon, the Orange County Register reported.

The waves at the Wedge, which is a popular bodyboarding and bodysurfing spot just north of the Newport Pier, started with 8-foot surf this morning and nearly doubled in size by about 5 p.m., as sets of 15-18 feet arrived, according to the newspaper.

In Huntington Beach, where the NSSA West Coast Championships was under way, afternoon waves reached 6-7 feet.

Lifeguards told the newspaper there weren't many rescue calls because the surf was so high no one could venture out very far.

Newport Beach reported about a dozen rescues, but crowds were relatively small because of cool temperatures in the low 60s and gusty winds of 16-19 mph, the newspaper reported.

Lifeguard Capt. Jim Turner told the newspaper that even bigger waves could arrive on Sunday.

Lifeguards warned beachgoers to be careful if they enter the water and to beware of rip currents.

The swell is expected to dissipate late Sunday.


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