Meteorologists and safety officials had a single, non-negotiable message for anyone planning to spend the last weekend before 2024 at the beach:
Do not do it.
“It would be wise to stay away,” National Weather Service meteorologist Dylan Flynn said Thursday morning. “That’s something we’re going to deal with for a few days.”
High waves are expected to pound coasts from Washington state to southern California all day Thursday, the result of a storm that occurred in the eastern Pacific Ocean about 1,000 miles offshore, Flynn said. This storm had hurricane-force winds and created fierce waves that began crashing onto shore Thursday morning.
The ocean is NOT your friend today!
High surf warning in effect until 3 a.m. Friday for very dangerous surf up to 28-33 feet, 40 feet possible in prime locations. Stay away from rocks, jetties, jetties and other waterfront infrastructure. Never turn your back on the ocean! #CAwx pic.twitter.com/JsR7OmDEkx
– NWS Bay Area 🌉 (@NWSBayArea) December 28, 2023
The weather service issued a high surf warning that will be in effect until 3 a.m. Friday and advised people to stay away from beaches, piers, rocks, jetties and other waterfront infrastructure. Waves are expected to reach 33 feet, according to the weather service. At Bodega Bay, waves measured 28 feet early Thursday, the weather service said.
In Santa Cruz, authorities issued an evacuation warning just before 8 a.m. for coastal areas near Seacliff State Beach in Aptos. Residents were asked to prepare in case an evacuation order follows.
These dangerous waves come as the region enjoys a brief break from the rain that blanketed the region on Wednesday. Up to an inch of rain fell in some areas of Marin County, but it was considerably lighter in the East Bay and South Bay. About a quarter of an inch fell in Oakland and the San Francisco airport, while San Jose saw 0.05 inches, Concord about 0.3 inches and downtown San Francisco about 0.1 inches.
Another storm is then expected which, according to Flynn, would take the same path as the previous one, but with a little more force. This storm is expected to keep waves high, forecasters say.
“It’s also going to mean another round of rain,” Flynn said. “It will probably rain more than we had (Wednesday).”
Flynn said it was likely at least an inch of rain would fall in all parts of the region. He said most of it is expected to fall by midday Friday and pour steadily through Saturday afternoon.
According to the weather service, this rain is not expected to create additional flooding risk.
“We expect the main flooding concerns to be limited to the immediate coastline because that’s where the waves are going to have an impact,” Flynn said. “As the rain is spread out over a 24-hour period, we don’t see it further inland.”
Please check again for updates.
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