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Hurricane Marie Causes Big Swells and Rip Currents in Southern California

sat_marie Hurricane Marie, once a powerful Category 5, may be fizzling out in the eastern Pacific, but it’s causing huge waves in parts of  Southern California. That’s prompted the National Weather Service  in Los Angeles to issue high surf advisories for parts of coastal Santa Barbra, Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange Counties. South facing beaches will be most at risk, since the prevailing flow will be out of the the south in the coming days. Swells between 10 and 15 feet are likely and deadly rip currents will also be a concern though at least Friday afternoon for the aforementioned areas. A bit further south, in San Diego County, swells aren’t expected the be quite as large, but rip currents will possible though the end of the week as well. If you live in these areas, going in the water is not advised.

Latest on Hurricane Marie

marie_path Marie, formerly packing winds of 160-mph on Sunday, is now steadily weakening. As of Tuesday afternoon, Marie’s winds were sustained at 100-mph — making the storm a stronger Category 2.  Marie is situated about 675 miles west of the southern tip of the Baja California,  moving west-northwest at 15-mph. The storm will stay well away from land and is expected to become extra-tropical as it moves over the temperate waters of the mid-latitude Pacific Ocean.

Rip Tides and Huge Waves

marie_high_surf Even though Marie won’t directly affect land, its ocean-churning power and prevailing wind patterns will help to push massive surf on to some Southern California beaches. The huge tidal action is also expected to create dangerous rip currents as well. And while it’s ill-advised to go in the water during these conditions, what should you do if you find yourself being drug out to sea in a rip current? The National Weather Service has a few tips on how to spot them: • Look for an out-of-place channel of churning or choppy water • Look for an break in the onshore wave pattern What to do if you get caught in a rip current: • Remain calm and don’t fight the current • Swim perpendicular to the current/parallel to the shore and then swim at an angle back to shore What if you can’t escape the current: • Tread water or float. Eventually the pull of the current will abate. • Yell for help and wave your arms to get someone — preferably a lifeguard’s — attention   Meteorologist Alan Raymond

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