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Hazardous surf, strong rip currents expected at Southern California beaches

April 28, 2010 |  8:11 pm
Surfers and swimmers at Southern California beaches can expect hazardous surf and strong rip currents beginning Thursday and lasting at least a day, forecasters said.

A combination of gale-force winds in the outer waters and tides in excess of 6 feet are expected to help create surf of 5 to 7 feet, the National Weather Service said. In San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, surf is expected to be 8 to 10 feet high.

Southern California beach erosion is at its worst in a decade. The heavy surf and high tide will cause additional erosion, according to the weather service.

The powerful northwest winds will create seas of up to 14 feet in outer waters, the weather service said.

Temperatures Thursday will be below normal but will begin rising Friday and continue through early next week.

As of Thursday evening, winds were gusting at 39 mph at Avalon Airport on Santa Catalina Island and 44 mph at Lake Palmdale. In Ventura County, Point Mugu reported gusts of 57 mph and Oxnard reported 41 mph gusts, the weather service said.

-- Robert J. Lopez