The biggest swells of the winter so far are set to hit Southern California beaches later this week, bringing waves in the 10- to 12-foot range to some areas along the coast .
The forecast also calls for potential flooding in vulnerable areas during morning high tides, which could push water into parking lots, streets and into homes.
“It’s definitely going to be huge,” said Brandt Maxwell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “This is expected to be the biggest swell so far this winter.”
The west swell is expected to arrive Thursday and Friday, before another swell follows Saturday and Sunday.
Some west-facing beaches in Orange County could experience waves up to 12 feet high, Maxwell said, especially in northern Orange County.
Los Angeles County beaches will also experience significant waves, ranging from 3 to 6 feet high in most areas, but up to 12 to 15 feet high along parts of the South Bay and in Malibu, said National meteorologist Mike Wofford. Weather Service in Los Angeles.
“We could see some pretty impressive surf waves, maybe heights we haven’t seen in a long time,” he said. “What we’re looking at is surfing up to 10 feet, maybe even a little higher.
“It’s quite unusual in our area.”
High tides in the morning could also cause problems for beach parking lots, and even homes, around the beach, he said. “We advise people to take as many precautions as possible.”
Bathers should exercise caution, even on the shore.
“The situation may seem dry, but waves can come in an instant and you may not have time to react,” Wofford said. “We really encourage people to stay out of harm’s way.”
And people who go into the ocean should use caution, he said.
“We always suggest swimming near a lifeguard,” he said.
There could also be some rain on the way, nothing “super impactful” but a few systems that could bring a quarter, maybe up to a half-inch of rain, Wofford said.
Another system could follow New Year’s Day and into Tuesday, he said.
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