Beach hazard issued due to high surf and strong rip currents this weekend

High 10 to 15 foot surf could be here next week

SAN DIEGO - San Diego County beaches remained under a hazard warning today as high surf and strong rip currents were expected along the beaches, while forecasters tracked a storm that could send 10 to 15 foot waves to the county next week.

A swell out of the south was expected to move through coastal waters Saturday and Sunday. It  prompted the National Weather Service to issue a beach hazard statement that was to remain in effect until 5 p.m. Sunday, according to Stephen Harrison, a meteorologist from the NWS.

"South swells generated by Tropical Storm Lowell will bring high surf and strong rip currents to northern San Diego County beaches through Sunday afternoon," Harrison said in a Youtube video posted today by the NWS.

"Southern San Diego County beaches will see lower surf but strong and dangerous long-shore currents."

The currents could result in dangerous swimming conditions, especially  for those with little experience in the water, according to the NWS. Beachgoers were advised to obey posted warning signs, use caution in and around the water and to swim near a lifeguard.

Forecasters Saturday also began to predict a large south swell, generated by Hurricane Marie off the coast of Mexico, would send large surf to Orange County and northern San Diego County beaches on Wednesday of next week.

"Conditions will improve Monday and Tuesday before a large south swell moves into Southern California, possibly bringing large surf of 10 to 15 feet," Harrison said.

The NWS said the swell could bring dangerous swimming conditions next Wednesday and could send waves over the top of jetties and seawalls, posing a danger to pedestrians in those areas. Waves could also cause damage to piers, and result in significant beach erosion.

Hurricane Marie was off the west coast of Mexico early Saturday and was expected to continue to strengthen to major-hurricane strength and move west-northwest.

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