High surf, rain to hit Southern California this week


Last updated 11/26/2018 at 9:35am

LOS ANGELES - High surf will pound Southern California from Tuesday through Friday, and rain is forecast Wednesday and Thursday, raising the threat of rockslides and mudslides in areas of L.A. and Ventura counties recently denuded by wildfire, the National Weather Service said on Monday, Nov. 26.

A beach hazard statement, which is slightly less serious than a high surf advisory, will be in force along the L.A. and Orange County coasts from Tuesday afternoon through Friday evening, according to the NWS.

"A strong storm system in the Gulf of Alaska has begun to generate a long period large groundswell that will approach the Central Coast of California by Tuesday afternoon,'' according to an NWS statement. "There will be enough of a westerly component to filter into the Southern California Bight'' -- the coastline from Point Conception to San Diego -- "late Tuesday afternoon or evening, bringing the potential for high surf to most west- to northwest-facing beaches from San Luis Obispo to Los Angeles Counties, including the west-facing side of Santa Catalina Island.''

In Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties ... breakers will range from 6 to 12 feet with long-period swells from late Tuesday afternoon or evening through Friday evening, NWS forecasters said, adding that the peak time for the highest surf should occur Wednesday morning through Thursday morning. In Orange County, surf of 5 to 8 feet is expected.

These conditions are potentially perilous, according to the NWS.

"There will be a high likelihood of strong and dangerous rip currents along with the high surf,'' warned an NWS statement. "Sneaker waves and other hazards can create life-threatening conditions in the surf zone. Swim near a lifeguard. If caught in a rip current, relax and float. Don't swim against the current. If able, swim in a direction following the shoreline. If unable to escape, face the shore and call, or wave for help.''

The surf is expected to subside Saturday night.

Also expected this week is another bout of rainfall -- likely Wednesday and Thursday, according to the NWS. In L.A. County, the rain likely will start Wednesday night, forecasters said and will fall amid gusty southwest winds.

Between a half-inch and 3 inches of rain is expected, forecasters said, adding there could be minor debris flows, urban roadway flooding and rockslides and mudslides in fire-denuded areas at the site of the Woolsey Fire in L.A. and Ventura counties and the Hill fire in Ventura County alone.


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