Swimmers Warned of Dangerous Surf at Beaches as Heat Wave Grips SoCal

"If you’re not an experienced swimmer stay out of the water," NBC4 meteorologist Crystal Egger said.

People hoping to take advantage of the heat wave gripping Southern California have been warned to take extra care at the beaches due to due to dangerous currents. 

Huge numbers are expected to flock to the coastline over the weekend as temperatures soar due to a high pressure system. But it is important to also be cautious, as there is a risk of dangerous rip currents and high waves.

"If you’re not an experienced swimmer stay out of the water,"  NBC4 meteorologist Crystal Egger said.

A beach hazard statement will be in effect in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties from late tonight through Sunday afternoon.

"The warm March weather means great beach days for Spring Breakers, but there’s a warning along the coast," Egger said, "A long period South swell is bringing rough surf and sneaker waves to our local beaches.  Biggest waves are expected along South facing beaches through Sunday."

While the surf is dangerous, forecasters have said a stronger sea breeze is likely to develop Friday afternoon, making it slightly cooler than expected along the coast. Warmer weather is possible in the Antelope Valley.

Long Beach will reach into the high 80s Friday, and could break the record of 86, according to the National Weather Service.

More cooling is anticipated on Saturday as the system moves east, but temperatures ``still will be well above normal,'' the weather service said.

 The NWS urges SoCal residents planning to perform strenuous outdoor activities to wear light-colored, light-weight clothing and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of non-alcoholic fluids.

City News Service contributed to this report

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