Beware Riptide, High Surf at SoCal Beaches: NWS

The National Weather Service issues high-surf advisories for LA, OC, Ventura counties

By Olsen Ebright
|  Friday, Aug 31, 2012  |  Updated 11:46 PM PDT
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A high surf advisory is in effect for the Labor Day weekend, meaning dangerous riptides and strong waves could threaten throngs of beachgoers. Janet Kwak reports from Newport Beach for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Aug. 31, 2012.

Janet Kwak

A high surf advisory is in effect for the Labor Day weekend, meaning dangerous riptides and strong waves could threaten throngs of beachgoers. Janet Kwak reports from Newport Beach for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Aug. 31, 2012.

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Body Surfers Dive In to Strong Waves

While lifeguards warned a high surf advisory meant insecure swimmers should stay out of the water, body surfers took it as a chance to experience "the power of the ocean." In Orange County, swells reached up to 15 feet. Vikki Vargas reports from The Wedge in Newport Beach for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Aug. 31, 2012.

High Surf Hits Newport Beach's The Wedge

Lifeguards are preparing for a potentially busy holiday weekend as high-surf advisories go into effect for beaches across Southern California. NBC4's Vikki Vargas reports the Wedge in Newport Beach for the NBC4 News at Noon on Aug. 31, 2012.
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As Labor Day weekend approaches, the National Weather Service has a warning for beachgoers: beware high surf and dangerous riptides.

High-surf advisories were issued for Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties. The OC advisory lasts until 6 p.m. Monday, while the others expire Sunday at 6 p.m.

Weather Resources: Forecast | Severe Weather Alerts | Maps and Radar

"Surf and swell conditions could be hazardous to anyone entering the water late this week and this weekend, with dangerous rip current potential," according to the NWS.

Breakers along the SoCal coast will range between 4 and 8 feet, with sets up to 10 feet possible in some areas. Water temperatures should stay between 63 and 72 degrees.

High surf also brings flooding concerns in low-lying areas like the Balboa Peninsula, where sand berms have been put in place in an attempt to keep the water back.

Beachgoers are being warned to stay off jetties and out of the water along stretches of Huntington Beach and Baby Beach at Dana Point due to high bacteria levels.

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The NWS recommends that beachgoers planning to swim talk to a lifeguard before entering the ocean.

"The lifeguard is familiar with the beach and can tell you where the safest places are to swim," according to the NWS.

Around noon Friday, dozens of body surfers were catching waves at The Wedge, a popular yet dangerous section of the Newport Beach coastline. Some ocean enthusiasts say these are the days that make or break body surfers.

"It's just the power of the ocean. It's unique and a lot of fun," said surfer David Green of Long Beach.

Lifeguards said they were concerned about possible crowds during the weekend. All lifeguard towers are expected to be opened.

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