High surf, strong winds expected for county

Strong winds could create tough driving conditions

SAN DIEGO - An ocean storm swell expected to bring big waves and strong rip currents along the San Diego County coast, and isolated showers and strong winds were developing inland that could lead to difficult driving conditions, forecasters said Tuesday.

According to the National Weather Service, the west-northwest swell was expected to build from 5 to 8 feet in the outer waters by this evening and would stick around through late Wednesday. Forecasters issued a high surf advisory through 4 p.m. Wednesday.

"Minor beach erosion and minor coastal flooding are possible," the NWS advisory stated. "Very strong rip currents are likely."

Infrequent sets could reach 9 feet on exposed west-facing beaches. The highest surf was expected this evening and Wednesday morning and could break over jetties.

City lifeguard Lt. Andy Lerum said there were no plans to close either the Ocean Beach Pier or the Mission Beach jetty, but officials would continue to monitor surf conditions.

The Imperial Beach shoreline south of Carnation Avenue was closed to swimming or other water contact by county's Department of Environmental Health Tuesday when sewage-tainted runoff from the Tijuana River was washed north.

Isolated showers were in the forecast Tuesday afternoon and evening for mountain areas where overnight lows could drop to 28 degrees, according to the NWS.

NWS forecasters also said areas of northeast to east winds of between 20 and 30 miles per hour in the mountains and between 15 and 25 mph in the valleys would develop late Tuesday afternoon and continue through Wednesday afternoon.

Gusts of up to 50 mph could blow through and below mountain passes and gusts up to 40 mph could be possible near the foothills.

"Winds this strong can make driving difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles," according to the NWS. "Use extra caution."

Meteorologists advised motorists to watch for broken tree limbs and downed power lines.

The NWS issued an advisory set to take effect at 6 p.m. and extend to 6 p.m. Wednesday. The winds were expected to peak Wednesday morning and gradually weaken late Wednesday through Thursday.

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