Warning: High Surf for Holiday Beachgoers

Fourth of July brings fireworks and big waves

If you are heading to the beach for the holiday weekend, then you should be prepared for some monstrous waves.

Starting Sunday, south-facing beaches will be hit with waves up to about 8 feet, thanks to swells generated by a storm off New Zealand.

The big surf is expected to continue through Tuesday, and lifeguards say only experienced swimmers and surfers should get in over their heads or you just might be in "over your head."

Onlookers venturing out on jetties and other points that can be suddenly washed over by big waves should proceed with caution.

Surfers can expect mostly waist- to head-high waves Sunday, and shoulder-high and overhead waves Monday and Tuesday.

At the Wedge in Newport Beach, where the harbor jetty helps pump up the surf, breakers could be 12-15 feet.

Otherwise, the biggest waves are expected along south-facing beaches in Orange and San Diego counties, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In Santa Monica Bay, the big southerly swell will be somewhat blocked by Santa Catalina and San Clemente islands, and parts of Malibu and other south-facing beaches are expected to have breakers 4-8 feet, with some sets up to 10 feet, according to the National Weather Service.

NWS high surf advisory will be in effect until 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Holiday beachgoers should be cautious because with the pounding waves come strong currents that can pull swimmers offshore. Lifeguards recommend swimming parallel to the beach to get out of rip currents before turning toward shore.

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