More High Surf, Dangerous Rip Currents Expected at SoCal Beaches


LOS ANGELES—Large waves will continue to pound the Southern California coast Dec. 29 and into the weekend, raising the risk of flooding while creating dangerous conditions for anyone entering the ocean water.

National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters said there were reports of waves reaching 16 feet in Los Angeles County Thursday. As a result, a high surf advisory that had been issued for L.A. County beaches until 10 p.m. Saturday was upgraded to a high surf warning, with waves of 8 to 13 feet anticipated, and some isolated sets possibly reaching 20 feet.

“These are forecast to be extremely dangerous conditions, as powerful waves and life-threatening rip currents pose an exceptional risk of ocean drowning and damage to coastal structures such as piers and jetties,” according to the NWS.

“Impacts will only slightly lessen into Friday—before an additional strong wave front arrives from the NW, reinforcing extremely dangerous conditions at the beaches again on Saturday,” the weather service said.

Forecasters said the highest surf is anticipated at west-facing beaches such as Hermosa, Manhattan, and Palos Verdes.

A coastal flooding advisory will also be in effect until 10 p.m. Saturday for Los Angeles County beaches, including the Malibu coast and Catalina Island.

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“Flooding of sea water is likely, around the time of high tide, over vulnerable low-lying coastal areas such as parking lots, beaches, and walkways,” according to the NWS. “Significant damage to roads or structures is NOT expected. There is an increased risk for ocean drowning. Rip currents can pull swimmers and surfers out to sea. Large breaking waves can cause injury, wash people off beaches and rocks, and capsize small boats near shore.”

 Beachgoers and surfers enjoy high surf conditions in Newport Beach, Calif., on Dec. 28, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
Beachgoers and surfers enjoy high surf conditions in Newport Beach, Calif., on Dec. 28, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

In Orange County, a high surf warning and coastal flood advisory will be in effect until 2 a.m. Monday. Forecasters said Orange County beaches will see waves of 6 to 12 feet, with sets of up to 15 feet in northern Orange County.

Forecasters said the area could receive some light to moderate rain Friday night into Saturday, and there’s a chance of some light rain Sunday. According to the forecasters, there is a “slight chance of light rain in Pasadena on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day,” when the Rose Parade will make its way along Colorado Boulevard.


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