California Dolphin: statewide California news

20-foot-tall breakers to batter Bay Area beaches

MONTEREY — Powerful breakers up to 20 feet are expected to batter the Northern California coast through Thursday night.
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On Tuesday, the National Weather Service in Monterey issued a beach hazards advisory for west- to northwest-facing beaches including Ocean, Montara and Marina beaches.
In addition to large shore breaks, visitors to the coast should be wary of sneaker waves and rip currents, said Duane Dykema, a meteorologist with the weather service.
“Any of these are potential hazards if you’re in the surf zone,” he said, adding that beachgoers should stay off jetties, keep an eye on pets and never turn their back to the ocean.
The hazards are the product of a long-period swell from a strong storm that originated in the Gulf of Alaska, Dykema said.
He said this type of activity typically starts in the fall, when the Pacific Northwest becomes more active and the Bay Area sees some of its best weather, and continues through the winter.
“These first events of the fall are the most dangerous because you have the most people at the beach,” Dykema said. “If you’re going to the beach, just be aware of the dangers that the surf can present.”
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