A much-anticipated swell arrived Wednesday, Jan. 12, bringing beefy waves to the coastline for surfers, but hazardous conditions for novices who were warned to stay clear of the waters.
The National Weather Service’s high surf advisory in Los Angeles County is expected to expire at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, while Orange County’s remains in effect until 1 a.m. Thursday.
The NWS said waves in the 4- to 7-foot range showed up during the swell, which also brought strong rip currents and dangerous swimming conditions.
Seal Beach lifeguard Chris Pierce said waves were 3-feet to 5-feet at that stretch of beach, with moderate crowds and not many rescues, except a handful of medical aids due to shore-break conditions, with injuries such as dislocated shoulders.
“People look like they’re getting some really fun, really clean waves,” he said.
Lifeguards were warning families with small children to stay clear of the south side of the pier, he said, where waves can be larger and more dangerous than on the northern end of the beach.
“Surfers paddling out, be aware we have shore break that can really sneak up on people,” he said.
NWS meteorologist David Sweet said waves in the Los Angeles area were in the 4- to 6-foot range.
While the high surf advisory is set to expire, surf in the 2- to 5-foot range will still linger through the week in Los Angeles County.
Surfline.com is calling for 4- to 6-foot surf through the week in Orange County.
Santa Ana winds will return by Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, which may call for a wind advisory for the mountains and valley areas, Sweet said.