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Contact: John Golda, 415-464-5143
The National Weather Service report has issued a high surf advisory for the Northern and Central California coast beginning at 10 am this morning and it is in effect until at least 9 pm PST Friday, January 24.
A large, long period westerly swell will enter the waters today and continue to build through Friday. These conditions will result in strong rip currents and potential sneaker waves. Steeper beaches, particularly west facing beaches, will see large waves and breakers up to 20 feet in height.
"It's essential to always be cautious when enjoying the beautiful but treacherous coast at Point Reyes, especially during high surf conditions," says Cicely Muldoon, Superintendent of Point Reyes National Seashore. A High Surf Advisory means that visitors should show extra caution while on local beaches. Large waves that crash higher on the beach carry tremendous force. While one should always keep an eye on the ocean, occasionally, much larger than normal waves, known as "sneaker waves," will crash high onto the beach and can surprise people. Rip currents can quickly carry items beyond the breaking waves. Visitors should walk well above the line where water washes onto the beach and avoid climbing on rocks near the water. Fishermen should avoid fishing off of rocks or jetties.